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Easy Pasta Salads

March 4, 2011

This week, I made two pasta salads. It was weird; I rarely make pasta salad and then I made two.

Justin said that the first thing he ever learned to make was pasta salad. One often learns new things about one’s spouse, such as this. Justin did not know that I 1) knew how to play the dulcimer and 2) owned a dulcimer that HE HAD MOVED until we were on our honeymoon. Somehow, the topic of dulcimers came up. Lesson learned: Ask on the first date what instrument(s) he or she plays so that you won’t have to find out on the honeymoon.

Back to pasta salad. Anyway, Justin also said that the Shrimp and Corn Pasta Salad tasted like something, “You’d never make but you’d have at someone else’s house and enjoy.” I used the original Penzey’s recipe here, but changed it so much I re-wrote my own instructions, below. The thing about pasta salad is that you really can’t mess it up. Unless, of course, you start to act irrationally and add yeast or a cup of salt.

You can easily make the salad vegan by omitting the shrimp and adding tofu, perhaps lightly seared, for protein.

Joy’s Shrimp and Corn Pasta Salad

Heat the oven to 400. Put a dash of olive oil on a large, rimmed cookie sheet.  Place 1 lb. cherry tomatoes (fresh or frozen), 1 chopped green pepper, and 1 medium onion, diced. Roast in oven until cooked and tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place 1/2-1 lb. cooked, peeled raw shrimp (frozen is fine). Add 1 C. frozen corn. Pour over 1/3 C. olive oil and 1/4 C. bottled (or fresh) lime juice. Add 1 t. ground cumin, 1 t. dried oregano, 1/2 t. garlic salt, 1/4 t. red pepper, 1/2 t. paprika, 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro and 1 t. dried basil or 2 t. fresh.

Boil a large pot of water. Add 1 lb. multi-color wagon wheel pasta. Drain and add to shrimp and corn. (The pasta will help the shrimp and corn to thaw.)

Once the vegetables have roasted, add them to the pasta and shrimp mixture. Stir. Serve warm or at room-temperature. This is also a great to pack in a lunch the next day.

(And Evelyn liked it.)

Evelyn Happily Eating

Yesterday, I made Acini De Pepe Pasta with Garlic and Olives. But I substituted orzo for the acini di pepe, and it sounds a little less fancy that way. Evelyn did NOT like the olives; she tossed them on the floor. But she liked the orzo. So did we. This recipe was originally from Gourmet in 2008 and you can find it posted here.

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