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The summer standby is always a go-to for holiday get-togethers and backyard barbeques (duh!), but sometimes you just want a new and exciting flavor combination, you know?
I stumbled upon a list of Bon Appétit's list of "30 Memorial Day Side Dishes That Eclipse the Mains" and instantly decided to make my own version of their melon-pancetta-ricotta salata salad, one that promised a hefty amount of leftovers. 'Cause it's one of those weeks where Matt and I are passing ships in the night, and the sit-down family dinner just isn't happening.
The dressing is nowhere near the star of the show (you could double the amount, if you'd like); however, the sweet-salty mix of the melon and pancetta/feta definitely is. The fresh mint cools the spice of the red pepper flakes perfectly.
Gotta say, I am thrilled with the results! This one's a keeper.
Cantaloupe-Pancetta-Feta Pasta Salad [adapted from Bon Appétit]
-1 lb. campanelle pasta
-4 oz. sliced pancetta
-6 oz. crumbled feta
-16 oz. cantaloupe, diced into 1/2" pieces
-3 green onions, thinly sliced
-3 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
-5 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
-4 tablespoons of olive oil
-1 teaspoon of kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon of pepper
-pinch of red pepper flakes (or more, to your liking)
1. Boil the pasta in a big pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water so pasta does not clump.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a foiled roasting pan, spread the pancetta slices out so that they do not overlap. Bake until crispy, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool, then break into bite-sized pieces.
3. To make the dressing, add together the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Whisk well.
3. Add pasta, pancetta, melon, feta, and dressing to a large bowl. Toss well, then garnish with onions and mint.