At long last, I believe I have cracked the secret code to making that shrimp and pasta salad they sell at the local grocery store for entirely too much. So here that is with more avocado with lime-cilantro dressing (see yesterday's post for that recipe) and some Greek yogurt-covered Craisins.
But this salad...
It's a retro sort of recipe, complete with ketchup and mayo and things that come in cans. If that's not you, well, that's fine; I have plenty of recipes that are based on fresh ingredients. But there are some changes I made to the way 1950s home cooks went about things. The herbs are fresh here. It's a red bell pepper rather than chopped pimentos from a jar. But this is still the kind of recipe your grandmother would have taken to a potluck supper.
Feel free to double or quadruple this recipe as needed; it will multiply just fine. But I'm a single person who typically cooks only enough to eat things 2-3 times.
Shrimp and Pasta Salad
Serves: 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side
5 tablespoons full-fat mayo (no substitutes)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or if you don't have any on hand, frozen or dried will do)
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Splash Worcestershire sauce
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash white pepper
4 oz. very small pasta shapes (I recommend tubettini--you'll use 1/2 cup to get 4 oz.)
1 4 oz. can tiny shrimp, drained
1 small celery stalk, very finely chopped
1 mini red bell pepper, very finely chopped (or 1/4 of a big one)
1 scallion, white and green parts, sliced very thinly
Paprika (if desired)
Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl; chill.
Cook the pasta shapes in boiling salted water until tender; drain. Rinse the pasta in cold water and drain again.
Add all the salad ingredients except the shrimp and mix well. Gently fold in shrimp. It will look like this and you will swoon:
But it will not be ready. You will need to transfer it to a storage container and let the flavors meld for a few hours. Pull it out to stir and note that the noodles have absorbed a lot of the dressing. My apologies that I didn't choose a prettier storage container to set it off in all its glory.
Just before serving, you can add a garnish of paprika if you wish. I wished.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!