When the fabulous Lemmonex came to visit me for my birthday, we threw a deck party of epic proportions (okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but it was a darn good time). She and I wowed all of our guests with homemade deliciousness, including this awesome pasta salad. It had just enough bacon and creaminess to be really satisfying, but it also had plenty of veggies and herbs and other punchy flavors to keep it fun and healthy (well, healthier, anyway). It was great on its own, but it was also good leftover with some grilled chicken on top.
To prepare dressing, combine first 9 ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Cover and chill.
To prepare salad, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; add peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain. Combine pasta mixture, bell pepper, and next 4 ingredients (through rind) in a large bowl. Toss pasta mixture with half of dressing. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Toss salad with remaining dressing, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon; serve immediately.