BLAT Pasta Panzanella Salad

serves 12-16 as a side dish, 6-8 as a main course

For the Dressing

1 medium garlic clove finely grated on a microplane

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup light sour cream

1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pasta Salad

1 pound bite-size pasta

1 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and cooked to your liking

6 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into small dice

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, skinned, and cut into bite-size chunks

2 1/2 ounces baby arugula

3 cups buttered croutons

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  (Dressing can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.)

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain and spread out onto a shallow baking sheet.  Let cool to room temperature.

Transfer pasta, bacon, tomatoes, and red onion to a large bowl; do not mix. (Pasta salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.) When ready to serve, add avocado, arugula, croutons, and dressing; toss to coat.  Let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and serve.  Enjoy!

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