Yields: 20 servings.
1 pound penne pasta
1 pound thick-sliced bacon, diced
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, according to package instructions. Transfer pasta to a bowl of ice water; drain well. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain.
Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon drippings; set aside to cool.
Whisk together mayonnaise, reserved drippings, shallots, basil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon; toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.