PARTNER POST — Grilling season is here and it is time to explore Italian grilling with authentic ingredients from Colavita.
Let the grilling begin. A cool pasta salad receives some heat from red chili and bold Italian flavor from asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.
Cold pasta salad tends to be the saddest and least exciting summer picnic side.
Regardless of this dismal red gingham landscape, when I was growing up, my mom made a bomb cold pasta that used fresh tomatoes and basil, and just a little balsamic. It tasted bright and egregiously garlicky—a far cry from the usual deli aisle limp, tart fussili with kidney beans and mysterious chopped meats.
My grill pan has been anxiously awaiting it’s debut from winter hibernation. I’m not sure why I don’t use it indoors in December, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel right. The grill it was the perfect thing to give my shrimp a light smoky flavor.
Instead of the usual chopped plum tomatoes, I used fresh little cherries and sautéed them with shallots, chili flakes, and all of that obligatory garlic. From my amazing care package of Colavita products, I threw in some sundried tomatoes and balsamic and tossed the whole thing together with gluten-free quinoa macaroni.
The shrimp pasta salad was far from the red headed stepchild of the red gingham buffet table, and it was the perfect centerpiece on a plate packed to the gills with greens.
I can’t believe Memorial Day is around the corner. My grill pan might be the only thing more excited than I am about all the warm weather dishes to come.
- 8 ounces short (gluten-free) pasta
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound wild peeled deveined shrimp, tail on
- Sea salt (I used Rachel Ray Salt from the Sea Grinder)
- Black pepper (I used Rachel Ray Malabar Pepper Grinder)
- 2 tablespoons Colavita Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup Colavita sundried tomatoes in olive oil, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to packages directions. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus. Drain well and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat an indoor or outdoor grill pan until smoking hot. Season the shrimp with sea salt, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, grill until curled and lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Remove to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and red chili flakes to the pan. Cook until the shallots are soft and the tomatoes are beginning to release their juices, 5 minutes. Season generously with sea salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked shrimp, pasta-asparagus mixture, sundried tomatoes, balsamic, and half the mint and hemp seeds, if using. Toss to combine and season to taste.
- Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining mint and hemp seeds, if using. Eat warm or at room temperature.