Best! Broccoli and Pasta Salad

Back in the day, my mother-in-law would make a really nice broccoli salad, with bacon and shredded cheese and such, so, when I came across this recipe, from the nice folx at Southern Living, I knew that it would more than likely be tasty.

And I liked the addition of halved seedless red grapes.

The thing was, they called for no cheese and bow tie pasta, and, well, I thought that we needed at least a bit.

Fortunately, I had some spinach and cheese tortelloni (vaccuum packed from ALDI) in the pantry, so that took care of my cheese and pasta concerns.

•1 cup mayonnaise
•1/3 cup sugar
•1/3 cup red wine vinegar
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 tsp hot sauce

•1 lb fresh broccoli
•8 oz pasta, cooked
•1 cup chopped red onion
•1 cup seedless red grapes
•8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
•1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Note: I cooked my bacon in the same pot that I cooked my pasta, so that the pasta got a little extra infusion of the bacon.

If you are using them, toast the pecans in a preheated 350º oven for five minutes.

Cook your bacon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate, then cook your chosen pasta according to package instructions in salted water.

There is no need to cook the broccoli.

I used an eight ounce bag of cut fresh broccoli florets from the produce section at my market, and just trimmed off the thicker stems and broke them into smaller pieces.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Cut the red grapes in half and add to a large bowl with the remaining salad ingredients.

Pour the dressing over all and toss.

Transfer the salad to a covered bowl and stash in the fridge for three hours before serving.

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