This isn’t just pasta salad, y’all. To call it that would be quite offensive. This is my masterpiece pasta salad salad. This is the pasta salad that I bring to parties and cookouts when I want to show off. I’ve never shared the recipe with anyone. Why share one of my secret weapons? Plus, I am (slightly) ashamed to admit how easy it is to make. I like people to want to rub my feet because they think I slaved for hours.
But here it goes.
Cook a box of fusilli or rotini noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Side note: I am notorious for burning water. I turn my back from the stove for a half a sec and the water runs over and makes a flippin mess. Then one day I heard that if you put a wooden spoon on top of a pot of boiling water, the water won’t boil over the sides. I can’t remember where I heard this, and maybe I even made it up. But it works y’all. It’s either a miracle or some sort of science.
Bake some bacon. Yes, I said bake. I’ve recently discovered my love of oven baked bacon. I hate getting splattered and blistered. If you don’t mind, then splatter away. Either way, cook up a batch of bacon. If you do mind, try this:
Put bacon on a foil-lined cookie sheet. The pieces can touch just barely in order for it all to fit on one sheet. Put the sheet in a COLD oven. Then turn the oven on to 400* and set the timer to 15 minutes. Sometimes it takes one or two minutes longer, but check it at 15 minutes. And BAM! Gloriously crisp bacon without the mess! Simply put the bacon on a plate on top of paper towels and throw away the foil.
When the bacon is cooled, cut it up. Throw it in with the noodles.
Drain the roasted red peppers and the artichokes. Chop it all and add to the noodles and bacon.
Mix it all together with some creamy Italian dressing. When I first started making this salad, I used Newman’s Own Creamy Italian Dressing. It was blissful. Absolute perfection. Then all the sudden it disappeared. It takes a lot for me to call a 1-800 number. But I called between sobs and asked N.O. about the dressing. It had been discontinued. The lady felt sorry for me and sent me the last batch they had.
A few years have passed since that sad day. Now I use the great-yet-not-blissful Marie’s, found in the produce section of my grocery store.
Now you have a choice to make. Once it’s all mixed you can either stir in a box of salad greens or you can serve the pasta on top of the salad greens. I prefer to mix it all so that the dressing is on the greens as well. But if you want it to look a little fancy, like I’ve shown for photo sake, you may do so.
There you have it. The potluck dish for you can brag about.