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Fennel-Bacon Pasta Salad

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.

Makes

16 servings

I love when a recipe is simple to prepare but elegant enough to serve at a formal dinner. This pasta is best served warm, but you can chill it if you'd like. —Julian Wong, La Jolla, California
Fennel-Bacon Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
  • 6 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 3 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups walnut halves
  • 1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) crumbled Stilton cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Remove drippings, reserving 3 tablespoons in pan. Saute fennel in reserved drippings for 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add walnuts; cook 3-4 minutes longer or until toasted.
  3. Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water. Add pasta, bacon and 3/4 cup cheese to fennel mixture; sprinkle with pepper and salt. Toss lightly until cheese is melted, adding enough reserved pasta water to coat pasta. Serve warm with remaining cheese. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 252 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 301mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein.

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