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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Green Bean, Grape, and Bacon Pasta Salad

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The fact of the matter is, I'm short on time tonight. I ran errands after work, came home to prep stuff for a few different recipes, and then spent an hour cleaning the house. I threw together a quick dinner and am now trying to get caught up on blog posts. Right now I have no shortage of recipes to share with you--it's the writing and all of the behind the scenes work that I'm a little behind on. So instead of sharing a story with you or going on and on about this pasta salad, we're going short and sweet today. You understand, right?!
Don't let my brevity in this post deter you from making this pasta salad. Earlier this summer we were visiting my parents and there were leftovers of this salad in the fridge. We sampled it, were huge fans, and I nabbed the recipe from my mom when we left at the end of the weekend. I finally got around to making it and it was just as good as we remembered. I used Greek yogurt instead of mayo, simply because I'm convinced my mayo had been in my fridge for WAY too long. You could use either, or even a combination. Enjoy!

The winner of my Champion Sports Bra giveaway is Commenter #33 Lauren who said "I've been doing lots of hot yoga lately, so that's what I need it for. Thanks!" Lauren--send me an email at natalie@thesweetslife.com so that I can get you your prize! 

One Year Ago: Pappardelle with Vegetables, Basil, and Asiago
Two Years Ago: Blushing POM Holiday Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels

Green Bean, Grape, and Bacon Pasta Salad
from Southern Living July 2008

-1 cup chopped pecans
-8 bacon slices
-1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
-1 (8 oz) package penne pasta
-1 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup red wine vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
-1/3 cup diced red onion
-salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, until lightly toasted.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, until crisp. Remove bacon, drain, and crumble.
3. Cook beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together mayo (or Greek yogurt), sugar, red wine vinegar, and salt. Add pecans, green beans, pasta, grapes, and red onion to the mixture, tossing to coat. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerated for 3 hours, or overnight. Just before serving, stir in bacon.