Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Shrimp

Who says a pasta salad can’t be fun.

I picked up this interesting package of pasta on my Sante Fe trip last September and I’m just now getting around to doing something with it. The pasta is called Organic Leftovers Colored. All kinds of interesting shapes from Castles to bow ties, tubes, wheels, Viking helmets and shields. I knew this was going to be a fun pasta to eat. Here is one from Amazon that even looks prettier than the one I bought.

I really like all the different shapes in one package. When my sister and I were kids we use to eat Campbels Alphabet Soup. We would pick though it and try to spell out things with the pasta letters. Maybe I’ll pick through this pasta and pull out all the castles, horses and wine glasses and set up a little Games of Thrones Salad.

This salad was being served for lunch one day and I wanted to keep it pretty simple. Along with some blanched asparagus and cubed avocado I decided to add some boiled shrimp and oven roasted tomatoes (or you can use sun-dried) Then I remembered my lemon oil I had bought at a local olive oil store and knew that was going to be the base for my dressing.

Just in time for your July 4th parties.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: This Tomato and Onion Salad will be great once you start buying those fresh tomatoes from a farmer’s market or pick your own.


Cool pasta shapes.


This looks like a Game of Thrones or maybe Vikings party makings.


By adding in the boiled shrimp, it turned this salad into a main dish luncheon salad for the weekend.


Dressing ingredients pretty simple.


Blanch the asparagus for a few minutes then put in ice water to immediately cool down.


Add the cooled asparagus to the salad.


Add in the shrimp (I cut mine in half lengthwise) and the avocado that you have rinsed under cold running water.


Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Shrimp
Interesting shapes of pasta turn into a delicious luncheon salad; fresh taste for a summer get together.
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  1. 1 8 oz. pkg. pasta, cooked al dente
  2. 1 lb. shrimp, cooked and shelled, cut in half
  3. 1/2-3/4 lbs. fresh asparagus
  4. 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips
  5. 1/2 c. almonds, toasted, optional
  6. 3-4 basil leaves, sliced thin
  7. 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  1. 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  2. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  3. 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  4. 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  5. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  1. Blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Remove from water and put in bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Slice into diagonal pieces about 1/2-3/4" long.
  2. Toast the almonds in the oven or in a dry hot skillet.
  3. Slice your avocado and cut into large cubes. Put the avocado in a colander and run under cold water; drain and set aside.
  4. Cook your pasta al dente. Drain and then run cold water over it to cool down. When the pasta is cooled add the asparagus, tomatoes, almonds, basil and the dressing. Toss to coat everything.
  5. Add the avocado and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.
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