It looks like I am not going to make it to the beach this year, so I brought the beach to me. At least I did according to The Outer Banks Cookbook. This pasta salad tossed with shrimp, goat cheese, tomatoes and a variety of herbs is a quick dinner to pull together anytime.
In a matter of minutes, you can have a fresh, delicious dish on the table. And since any salad recipe is more of a process than a hard-and-fast rule, you can easily suit this dish to your own tastes. Tomato-haters (I don’t understand you, but I know you are out there), can add summer squash, bell peppers, fresh peas or edamame.
The goat cheese melts over the warm pasta and shrimp to make a delicious, creamy pseudo-sauce. I wear blinders (love it!) as far as goat cheese is concerned, so I have no further recommendations on that front. However, you can always season this dish with whatever herbs and spices you like. The goat-cheese and dill combo is hard to beat, though I do like a little red pepper here and there.
If you plan to share this dish right away, say for a potluck or a family dinner at the beach, fresh herbs are the way to go. Since I fully intended to eat the leftovers for lunch, I sprinkled in dried dill and basil, then added more fresh basil and chives immediately before eating. It was delightful served warm for dinner and equally delicious as a cold lunch. Enjoy!
Shrimp Pasta Salad with Herbs, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese
- 8 oz. dried pasta of your choice (fusilli, bow ties, shells, elbows, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water and a few drops of olive oil (to keep the pasta from sticking) to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the shrimp. Heat the olive oil and Old Bay in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side, then remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, goat cheese, and tomatoes. The warmth of the pasta and shrimp should melt the goat cheese to coat pasta.
- Toss the entire pasta salad with the lemon juice, dill, basil, and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy the shrimp pasta salad warm or cold.
The ingredients listed here are simply offered as a guide. Tweak the measurements as you see fit.For an alternative way to prepare the shrimp: Fill a large saucepan with three inches of water. Before juicing the lemon, cut it into quarters. Place the juiced lemon quarters along with the Old Bay seasoning in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, and return to a boil. Once boiling, cook the shrimp a minute or two longer or until done. Add the drained shrimp to the pasta.