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Ranch Pasta Salad with Green Beans, Tomatoes and Bacon

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Active Time:  35 Minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes
  Serves 6
It’s possible to make ranch dressing from scratch, but in summertime, when the living is lazy, the bottled variety works just fine. It makes this colorful salad even easier to assemble and gives it just the right down-home flavor.
12 ounces green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
12 ounces imported dried semolina short pasta, such as fusilli or penne
8 thick-cut strips premium bacon
1 1/4 cups prepared ranch dressing
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (4 small) ripe tomatoes, seeded, diced
Place the beans in basket insert of pot. Submerge basket with beans into boiling salted water and cook uncovered, stirring once or twice, until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry.

Return water in pot to a boil. Add the pasta to the basket insert and cook until pasta is tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse well under cold water; drain again.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp but not brittle, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Coarsely chop the bacon.

Whisk ranch dressing, vinegar and pepper in large bowl. Add the beans, pasta, bacon and tomatoes; toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve within an hour or so of assembly.

NOTE: The salad can be prepared several hours in advance. Wrap the beans, pasta, bacon, and dressing separately and chill. Allow all three to return to room temperature before tossing with dressing.

Recipe created exclusively for by Michael McLaughlin.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
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Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6
Calories: 655
Fat. Total: 47g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 47g
Sodium: 581mg
% Cal. from Fat: 65%
Cholesterol: 37mg
Protein: 11g
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