Let's face it, bacon kind of makes everything better. My husband, apparently born somehow with the pasta-salad-aversion-gene, was willing to give this recipe a shot due to the inclusion of the illustrious bacon and the mixed olives (though he remained a bit skeptical of the green ones at first). We first brought this with us when we went to the beach with friends a couple Summers ago and it was a big hit all around. The saltiness of the bacon and olives balances well with the sugar so it is not overwhelming. A little kick from the cider vinegar and mustard give it a bit of flair, more or less depending on the type of mustard you choose to use. It is a nice balance of flavors without being to intrusive for those that are cautious of pasta salads in general, a reasonable compromise in the world of food, and that makes it a nice addition to a pot luck style event. I personally could toss in some whole cherry tomatoes, to lean more towards a BLT pasta salad, but my husband is not a tomato fan so they don't make it in very often. You could even set up some addition prepped veggies in bowls alongside it so that guests can dress it up as they like. It is, in general, a good base to draw from to create your own flavors with additions of different vegetables, diced hard boiled eggs, and the like. Check it out:
Pasta - 8 oz (spirals or shells)
Bacon - 1/2 lb
Mayonnaise, reduced fat or olive oil - 1/2 cup
Sour Cream, reduced fat - 1/4 cup
Yellow Mustard - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/8 cup
Cider Vinegar - 1/8 cup
Green Olives - 1/4 cup
Black Olives - 1/4 cup
Nature’s Seasoning Blend or House Spices
Salt & Pepper - to taste
1. Cook bacon over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the bacon, olives and pasta, folding in carefully until the salad is evenly covered with the dressing.
4. Store in refrigerator or cooler until served.