Prep the ingredients while you heat the pasta water and cook the pasta.
You can easily double the pasta amount if you want to stretch the salad further.
The salad is best the same day it is made, otherwise the basil is a bit wilt-y, and the pasta a bit sticky.
- 1/2 pound bow-tie (farfalle) or orecchiette pasta, or other short pasta
- 2 pounds small frozen, already cooked and peeled shrimp (if available, pink shrimp aka Maine shrimp)
- 1 diced red bell pepper
- 1 diced red onion
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 cup chopped basil leaves (loosely packed)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- Black pepper to taste
1 Thaw the shrimp: Defrost frozen shrimp by placing them in a bowl of cold water. Keep chilled until needed.
2 Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta in well salted water (1 tablespoon salt for every 2 quarts water) until al dente, a bit firmer than you would normally eat. (The pasta will absorb some of the salad dressing and soften further after cooking.)
Rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and put into a large bowl.
3 Assemble the salad: Rinse the shrimp and drain well. Add them to the bowl with the pasta and mix. Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix until well combined.
4 Chill and serve: Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving. Serve chilled.