This shrimp pasta salad recipe was sponsored by the awesome folks at Colavita, in partnership with Honest Cooking. Products featured on Feed Me Phoebe are few and far between, and as with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine.
Cold pasta salad tends to be the saddest and least exciting summer picnic side. For one thing, it’s usually one of the few dishes that doesn’t involve mayo. And if it does, well then, it just might be one of the only dishes in my book that shouldn’t.
Regardless of this dismal red gingham pasta landscape, when I was growing up, my mom made a bomb cold pasta salad that used fresh tomatoes and basil, and just a little balsamic. It tasted bright and egregiously garlicky—a far cry from the usual deli aisle limp, tart fusilli with kidney beans and mysterious chopped meats.
A few weeks ago I was invited to a potluck party for tastemakers in the wellness space, hosted by Arielle Haspel. Knowing that there would be no risk of a sad pasta salad on the table—or any carbs at all, for that matter—I decided to whip up a variation on my mom’s old recipe to round out the bowls upon bowls of kale.
My grill pan has been anxiously awaiting it’s debut from winter hibernation. I’m not sure why I don’t use it indoors in December, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel right. I was reminded though of how much I love throwing quick-cooking things like shrimp on the barbie to give them that light smoky flavor.
Instead of the usual chopped plum tomatoes, I used fresh little cherry tomatoes and sautéed them with shallots, chili flakes, and all of that obligatory garlic. I got a giant care package of amazing Colavita products as part of their Italian Summer Grilling series, so I threw in some sundried tomatoes and balsamic and tossed the whole thing together with gluten-free quinoa macaroni and fresh spring asparagus.
This shrimp pasta salad was definitely not the red headed stepchild of the red gingham buffet table, and it was the perfect centerpiece on a plate packed to the gills with greens.
I can’t believe Memorial Day is around the corner. My grill pan might be the only thing more excited than I am about all the warm weather dishes to come!!
Spicy Shrimp Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Sundried Tomatoes
- 8 ounces short gluten-free pasta
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound wild peeled deveined shrimp tail on
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Colavita Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup Colavita sundried tomatoes in olive oil thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds optional
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus. Drain well and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat an indoor or outdoor grill pan until smoking hot. Season the shrimp with sea salt, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, grill until curled and lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Remove to a bowl.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and red chili flakes to the pan. Cook until the shallots are soft and the tomatoes are beginning to release their juices, 5 minutes. Season generously with sea salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked shrimp, pasta-asparagus mixture, sundried tomatoes, balsamic, and half the mint and hemp seeds, if using. Toss to combine and season to taste.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining mint and hemp seeds, if using. Eat warm or at room temperature.
This post was sponsored by the awesome folks at Colavita, in partnership with Honest Cooking. Products featured on Feed Me Phoebe are few and far between, and as with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine.