Are you tired of the same side dish at picnics? This is a nice change and is quite unique! You can make this shrimp pasta salad with or without shrimp or even substitute the shrimp for chicken!
1 lb ditalini pasta, (small tubular pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced fine
Pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemongrass paste, tube from produce section
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt and pepper to season
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
½ cup red bell pepper, seeded, minced
½ cup green onions, sliced thin, green parts only
½ cup carrots, finely minced
1 – 2 tablespoons cilantro or basil minced, desired amount
Cashews, toasted, chopped to garnish
Fresh mango, finely minced to garnish
Heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the ditalini pasta and cook until al dente. Set aside.
To make the curry paste, add the olive oil to a saute pan and heat to medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chili pepper flakes, lemongrass, curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat to medium heat. Season the shrimp pieces with kosher salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and sauté until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and put in a bowl.
Meanwhile, add the mayonnaise and brown sugar to the cooked ginger and garlic in the saute pan and mix well. Add the shrimp, cooked pasta, red bell pepper, green onions, carrots and cilantro to the saute pan and mix well. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Garnish with the cashews and mangoes and serve chilled down in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. If you bring this dish to a picnic, you must keep it on ice or chilled because of the mayonnaise and shrimp in the salad.
Skinny Tip! Use low fat mayo (not fat free) and use olive oil spray to cook with instead of olive oil
Serves 6-8 as side dish