Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Vegetables with an Asian Flavor
I always enjoy making ‘Pasta Salads’ when we have company. It allows me to provide our guests with a flavorful side dish and if they like it there is always leftovers to take home. The challenge is to make something different when the same regular friends come over, so they do not feel that “oh he made the same thing again” mentality.
Hence with that said, I am all about “flavor building”, I generally blanch the vegetables in saltwater depending on the vegetable 2-3 minutes. Once I have prepped the vegetables the water usually has some wonderful flavors infused from the blanching of the vegies. For this meal the vegies were as follows:
- Broccoli florets
- Snow Pease (fresh not frozen)
- Asparagus this time I used the Purple ones (fresh ones)
- Celery stalk (chopped)
Once the vegies were done, I decided to boil a medium bag of frozen Shrimp with the tail on. I find that with the shell on the flavors are stronger in the water. Keep in mind the medium shrimp from Trader Joe’s is very flavorful. Make sure you do not cook the shrimp for more than three minutes and immediately cool it off in cold water for a couple minutes. Otherwise I find that the shrimp will become very tuff and loses the flavor.
By this time the water has incorporated a lot of wonderful flavors. Now I take a Red Bell Pepper and cut it into small chunks. After it, I remove the shells from the Shrimp.
Now I am ready to make the dressing:
- 1/3 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoon of honey ( some people substitute a tablespoon of sugar, I prefer honey )
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 cup of peanut oil
At this point I marinate the ‘unblanched bell peppers’ and the cooked shrimp in the dressing for as long as it takes me to make the bow-tie pasta. Generally, once the water is boiling another 10-11 minutes later, I am done with the pasta. Again, to stop cooking I rinse it off in cold water until the pasta is cold.
I toss the vegetables and the pasta in a large container add the marinated shrimp and the marinated bell peppers into the mix. Now I add shredded parmesan cheese to the dressing and mix it well. Then toss the salad with the dressing and let it chill for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors blend together.
If you like it spicier then add some chopped green onions and maybe a teaspoon of crushed red peppers and or black peppers to the mix. ( I do not because Diane is on a blander diet) Serve at room temperature by putting it out a couple hours before the guests arrive. Bon Appetite.
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