Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Shrimp, Avocado and Tomato Pasta Salad

This shrimp, avocado and tomato pasta salad is a dish that I threw together the other day when I was trying to figure out what to do with the ripe avocado that we had sitting around. I wanted to try something new but didn't have anything particular in mind, so I used the avocados as a starting point and tried to figure out what would taste good with it. We had cooked shrimp in the freezer and a couple of pints of ripe grape tomatoes, so I decided to throw those ingredients together into a quick pasta salad.

I wanted to make sure the pasta salad didn't taste too heavy, which can easily happen when you are using a rich ingredient like avocado. With that in mind, I kept the dressing sparse - just enough to very lightly coat the ingredients - and tossed in lots of tomatoes to keep the dish tasting fresh. If you prefer your pasta salad saucier, increase the amounts of mayonnaise, seafood sauce and lemon juice to your taste.

I really liked this pasta salad because the flavours balanced each other out really well. The creaminess of the dressing and the avocado was offset by the tanginess of the seafood sauce, the sour lemon juice, and the sweetness of the tomatoes. The ingredients complemented the shrimp really nicely. This recipe is a definite keeper, and it inspires me to be spontaneous in the kitchen more often!

  • 20 large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup of fusilli
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of tangy seafood sauce
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 pint of ripe grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 ripe avocado, cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the fusilli in well-salted water until the pasta is al dente, then drain and set aside.

I used frozen packaged cooked large shrimp for this dish. Defrost the shrimp according to package instructions, then season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Saute the shrimp in the butter and vegetable oil until they are nicely browned. They will shrink up quite a bit when cooking. If you want to skip this step, you could probably substitute salad shrimp, but I think browning the shrimp adds a lot of flavour to the dish.

If you aren't planning on eating all of the salad right away, you might want to coat the avocado pieces in some lemon juice to keep it from browning as quickly (which it does due to oxidation).

To make the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, seafood sauce and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Toss in the shrimp, pasta, avocado and tomatoes and stir everything together gently, being careful to keep the avocado pieces intact.

Refrigerate the pasta salad until it is chilled through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix and serve immediately.


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  1. Oh my, and i haven't had breakfast yet... Stomach is grumbling now, it looks so delicious! Definitely one to try!

    1. It's a good one! If you try it, I hope you like it!

  2. A light and refreshing pasta salad is one of my favorite things to eat for lunch. I love the fixings in this too - shrimp, avocado, and tomato pair wonderfully together!

    1. Me too! Salads are such a nice way to have something tasty that's quick to put together. And I agree about the ingredients - some things are just naturally good together!

  3. Yum, your pasta salad looks delicious! I love the flavour combinations!

  4. Thanks! It's one of my favourites. I love almost anything with avocado in it, and shrimp and tomato just makes it that much better! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


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