Make Ahead

Julian's pasta salad with shrimp, capers, olives, tomatoes and herbs

by:
March 22, 2015
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  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves one (but easily multiplied by the number of people you want to serve)
Author Notes

This is my daughter's take on a shrimp pasta, distinguished by its use of fresh tomatoes and herbs -- not quite like what one usually thinks of as pasta salad but more salad than anything else. In addition to being pretty quick, it is very good and more than the sum of its parts. Minimal cooking recipe for fresh summer tomatoes and fresh shrimp. No cheese required. —Starmade

Ingredients
  • 6 or 7 large fresh shrimp
  • 4 or 5 olives, pitted - green or black
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 or more scallions
  • 1 handful fresh herbs (any or all of basil, chives, parsley, cilantro, arugula, chicory, or whatever is in the garden)
  • 1 or 2 good sized ripe, fresh tomatoes (in combination of colors if you have them; but red is pretty enough on its own)
  • 2 splashes olive oil, enough to souse tomatoes and cover the bottom of the shrimp pan, pooling a bit when pan is tilted
  • fresh garlic - 1 or 2 cloves per person if you like garlic.
  • Dash hot pepper flakes if desired
  • 1/2 lemon, rind and juice to taste
  • 2 ounces penne, fusilli, or another similar size pasta shape
  • 1 splash white wine (optional)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Set salted pasta water boiling. Get your mise en place: Peel and devein shrimp and chop the shallot. Roughly chop tomatoes and scallions, then smash and chop garlic fine, placing tomatoes, scallion and garlic together in a bowl large enough to hold the entire dish at the end. (If you are not a big fan of raw garlic, cook it with the shrimp instead of putting it with the tomatoes.) Add salt and pepper to tomato mixture and a splash of olive oil and let them mingle for a few minutes. De-stem and rough chop the handfuls of herbs, setting these aside to add in at the end. Add pasta shape of choice to water when it is boiling.
  2. Cook the shrimp: Add olive oil to pan big enough to hold all your shrimp in one layer. When oil is hot, add the shallots, cook briefly. Add the hot pepper flakes, if using. Add shrimp and let cook briefly (just a minute or two) on each side till it turns pink. Add a splash of white wine if you have it on hand, the chopped olives and capers and wait till the pan heats again. Add lemon juice and rind, stir, and remove from heat. If it looks dry add a little of the pasta water--there should be a small amount of light tasty broth.
  3. Toss it together: Drain pasta (reserve a little of the water in case you need it) and add to salad bowl with tomatoes; toss pasta and tomatoes with cooked shrimp and olive-caper sauce. Stir. Add handfuls of fresh herbs (if you are making ahead, keep these aside till serving time). Taste and adjust salt, add more pasta water or lemon juice if you need it.

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