I’m all in favor of nominating the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich as the national sandwich of America. I’m sure some would favor the hot dog or even the hamburger, but neither of those had their origins in the colonies, did they? Whether or not the BLT ever makes it to nationally favored status, it will remain as one of my favorite reasons for summer. And bacon. And tomatoes. And did I mention bacon?

I never indulge in a BLT except when fresh tomatoes are in season. It’s just not right, y’all.

This pasta salad grew out of that love of the BLT sandwich, and it ranks right up there with favored dish status. It is just right. And you can even make it year-round by using those tasty little cherry or grape tomatoes found in the markets all of the time.

I serve this with two different dressings depending upon my preference of the day. It’s easy to adapt to your personal taste.

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 as dinner


  • 8 ounces dry pasta such as rotini, cavatappi, penne
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup homemade Roquefort Buttermilk  Dressinghomemade ranch dressing, or your favorite commercial blue cheese, ranch or Roquefort dressing.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6-8 strips hickory-smoked bacon
  • 4 cups sliced romaine (or ½ romaine and ½ arugula or spinach –any combination of greens that you prefer)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (mix yellow and red for color)
  • ½ cup shredded basil leaves
  • approximately 2 tablespoons Roquefort, blue, Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 baguette, cut into bite-size cubes, optional
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Mash the garlic clove with the kosher salt until a paste is formed. Mix the garlic paste with the ½ cup salad dressing and whisk in the 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
  3. Stir in the dressing into the cooked, warm paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and cook until crisp. Set aside.
  5. Spread the baguette cubes onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the olive oil. Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, stir the greens into the pasta along with the bacon and the halved tomatoes. Top with shredded basil, cheese and croutons as desired.

Alternate sour cream dressing:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.