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!
- 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.