Thursday, August 9, 2012

Melon & Bacon Pasta

After a week of eating my weight in lobster, it was time for a little detox. Bon Appetit's recipe for Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata caught my eye because of its unique flavor combination and light, summery feel.

I modified based on what I could easily access and personal tastes. It was quite light in the end, and I loved the sweetness of the cantaloupe with the salty bacon and cheese. This recipe is good for a light weekday dinner if served with salad or would make for a good side dish.

Melon Pasta with Bacon and Ricotta Salata

2 pieces bacon
8 ounces rotini (we used Dreamfields so it was extra healthy!)
Kosher salt
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Half a ripe peeled cantaloupe, chopped (any melon could work)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), shaved


Cook bacon. I opted to bake it in the oven on a foiled baking sheet for 20 minutes. Once bacon has cooled, break into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta; run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside.
Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add half of bacon, cooked pasta, melon, half of mint, green onion, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining bacon and mint over. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata.



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