Pasta Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
Salt for pasta water
4 ounces bacon (about 4 strips)
1 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced (from about 6 green onions)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup of buttermilk ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta and corn: Heat 2 quarts of water in a large pot until boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and boil uncovered at a rolling boil until al dente.
About 1 minute before the pasta is ready, add the corn to the boiling pasta water with the pasta.
Drain the pasta and corn, and set aside.
Cook the bacon: Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put in a frying pan and heat on medium. Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is well browned. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
Note: Do not pour rendered fat down your kitchen sink unless you really like your plumber. Pour it into a jar to use for another cooking purpose or discard.
Combine the ingredients to make the salad: In a large bowl add the drained, cooled pasta and corn, the bacon, and the remaining ingredients. Toss with with dressing. Add more salt and pepper to taste.