Avocado, bacon, tomato and pesto pasta salad

Every now and then, a dish comes along that just totally surprises you. This could be a restaurant dish that seemed like the risky choice and ends up stealing the show. A way of cooking a certain ingredient that turns you from a sceptic to a full on fan. Or maybe a pasta salad designed to just use up bits and bobs from the fridge that becomes your favourite lunch in a long time!

Avocado, bacon, tomato and pesto pasta salad

Calling this pasta salad ‘a dish’ is probably almost too extravagant. Yes, it is super simple, but it puts those packaged supermarket offerings to shame. It all just works perfectly together and is so addictive that The spare serving you’d made for lunch the next day might just get eaten too… Super crispy salty bacon, peppery rocket, creamy avocado and juicy tomatoes – what is not to like? Just looking at the picture again is making me hungry. The recipe is really just a guideline, for example I used orzo pasta here, in the spirit of using things up from my cupboard, but of course use any shape you fancy.

Avocado, bacon and tomato pesto pasta salad

Serves 2

  • 100g orzo
  • 3tbsp pesto
  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • handful cherry tomatoes
  • large handful of rocket

Boil the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp. Place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil and snip into 3cm chunks. Next, halve the cherry tomatoes and dice the avocado into large cubes.

When the pasta is cooked, drain well and tip into a large mixing bowl. Stir through the remaining ingredients and season generously with pepper (the bacon and pesto should be salty enough). Enjoy!

Guacamole

I finally feel like summer is actually here. Living in college is sometimes like living on a National Trust property and I have seen the beautiful gardens transform with each season to finally reach their peak now. The ‘sunken rose garden’ is finally living up to its name, purple wisteria covers the sides of buildings, the flowerbeds are bursting with colour – I feel very lucky to live here for 3 years!

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Now that we are experiencing (occasionally!) warmer weather, I am enjoying cooking and eating slightly lighter meals. Guacamole works equally well as a light lunch or an afternoon snack to get through essay writing, as well as being a great recipe to have up your sleeve to become the most popular person at the start of a party. There are endless recipes for guac and you can jazz it up with chillies, spring onions or even diced tomatoes but in my opinion when the fridge is scarce avocados, lime and coriander are all you need for a truly addictive summer dip.

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • half a bunch of coriander
  • salt and pepper

Peel two avocados and remove the stone. Mash with a fork into a paste, either smooth or chunky depending on your taste. Add the lime zest and half the lime juice, then tear up the coriander roughly and fold it all through. Add the remaining lime juice to taste along with plenty of salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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