Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Sugar Snap Pea Pods, Mushrooms and Shrimp is a warm (or room temperature), seasonal and delicious pasta dish that is served on a bed of baby greens–preferably arugula! Hit “Jump to Recipe” if you want to skip all of my news, which is copious this time around!
Food bloggers sometimes get a bad rap for discussing so many non food things. But you know, I would be bored senseless by this blog–as much as I love food–if all I ever discussed was food. So if you are one of those people who has a problem with it, either scroll down or move on because guys I have gone from having not much to say to not knowing where to start. I mean first this happened:
Then this happened:
And you might have thought nothing could top that, but then THIS happened:
Holy cow where to start! I guess I will start with the astoundingly more boring update, which is that the kitchen cabinetry is all done. Now we are waiting on a chimney for the vent, the backsplash, and then the walls to be painted. My biggest problem regarding the chaos in my life is that because of waiting on the backsplash and painting, there is still a lot of stuff that cannot be put away. But we are making progress and I am super excited about the new wet bar/coffee center especially….
As you can see, it has a different granite counter. That is because we loved the granite we already had, and it was pretty unique. So instead of trying to match, we went with a complementary dark grey granite. You can also see how they look next to each other here:
Pretend you cannot see the boxes down the hall. We still have tons to put away!
OK the snake. So Alex came home from camp last year obsessed with owning a corn snake. And honestly I could not think of a reason to say no. So we told her she had to truly clean her room (news flash: none of us are good house keepers) AND keep it clean–and she did! Now I am not squigged out by snakes–as a matter of fact I think Delphi is fascinating and adorable–but John and Sammy want nothing to do with her. Alex, though, is in love. She carries her around on her wrist and around her neck, both of them happy as clams. The other pets are extremely uninterested. As you can see Delphi is still tiny, so who knows what they will think when Delphi gets bigger.
And now what is obviously the most exciting news of all. Meet Skadi, our new German Shepherd. Many of you who know me know that this is a big deal. Bigger than just acquiring another dog. My parents had a German Shepherd when I was little and I spent my whole life waiting to be an adult so I could have another. Enter Loki, whose status in my life has acquired (justifiably) near legendary proportions. He died about a year after I started this blog, so you will not find loads of posts about him (this is probably the closest) and nor will you find tons of pictures, since he mostly predated a digital camera and almost completely predated a smart phone (! I’m old). He was also, no exaggeration, the single most effective medicine in my life in terms of what got me through trying to become an independent adult after my hospitalizations from epilepsy. A mom of a good friend of mine once told me she thought me taking care of him was my salvation and as melodramatic as it sounds, I think she was right.
Anyway. If it had been up to me I would have gotten another German Shepherd a year or two after he died, but it was not up to me, it was up to Delilah, and she was not sharing (me). I loved Delilah, but German Shepherds are herding dogs–that means they take care of their herds. They are much more likely to be care takers whereas Delilah, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, was a “caretakee.” I still miss her, but I am so excited about Skadi (named after the Norse goddess of winter, thanks to my niece Sophie for the name suggestion) I am practically buzzing. If you follow me on social media you know it has been the All Skadi All The Time show lately–and I expect that to continue.
OK. Whew! I had a lot of news! This Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Sugar Snap Pea Pods, Mushrooms and Shrimp is actually the first meal I made in our new kitchen. So you know it is super simple. It is also the perfect meal for spring. I cannot believe there was a time when I always made my asparagus the same way–roasted. And don’t get me wrong, asparagus and a high heat oven were made for each other. It started with that amazing Cooking Light Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter Recipe and then I progressed to roasting the asparagus with lemon slices (you can file that one under photos that need to be updated), also delicious. But asparagus deserves to be used more than that. I could happily put it in almost every dish I make in the spring and early summer. Its flavor is pronounced, but it still plays well with others–an unusual combination.
So I am comfortable at this point adding asparagus in whenever I want to, but pea pods are still something I need to remind myself to use. So this meal was actually created around the sugar snap pea pods. If you are a mushroom hater you can leave them out–just don’t tell me! If you cannot get good basil (that tends to be hit or miss for me except in the height of summer), Italian flat leaf parsley will work as well–or you can leave any herbs out since you will get that burst of herbaceous freshness from the arugula or other baby greens (I like to have the option of both because I know not everyone adores arugula like I do).
This Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Sugar Snap Pea Pods, Mushrooms and Shrimp was a big hit with the whole family–and not just because it was the first homemade food we had had in several weeks. The pea pods add great texture and flavor, the asparagus, mushrooms and shrimp all complement one another, and the goat cheese ties it all together. All of that crisp tender green really makes you feel the season, and I guess that Indian Shrimp Stir Fried with Tindora that I made to encourage spring to come worked, because this pasta salad with asparagus was also the first meal we have eaten outside since last summer! And now we are eating them outside pretty regularly!
I think of this as a warm salad, because it is meant to be eaten warm to room temperature over a bed of greens. This is not a fussy recipe--you should substitute in or out whatever sounds good to you. Sammy had it with feta because she dislikes goat cheese. I used basil because I had just been to the store. John and Sammy preferred it with spring greens or baby spinach whereas Alex and I adored it with baby arugula. I really enjoyed the crunch and sweetness of the sugar snap pea pods but snow pea pods could work also. You get the idea!
- 1 lb bow tie pasta, cooked to al dente
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small-medium onion, chopped
- 1 T minced garlic
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lb sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody stems snapped off and then sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 lb shrimp
- 2 handfuls sugar snap pea pods, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 handful basil, thinly sliced into slivers
- crumbled goat cheese
- several small handfuls per serving baby arugula (or spinach or spring greens0
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain, reserving a ladle or 2 of the cooking water and set aside until needed.
While the pasta is cooking, prep your vegetables.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and when it is hot add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until they soften and become translucent.
Add the garlic with some freshly ground black pepper. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms with another pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are browning, about 7 minutes.
Add the asparagus with a ladle of pasta cooking water. Stir and let the water boil off.
Add the shrimp and the sugar snap pea pods at the same time. Toss and cook for about 3 minutes, until the shrimp is curled, opaque and pink.
Remove from heat and toss the pasta into the vegetables. Stir in the basil. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste for more salt, freshly ground black pepper or lemon juice. Remember you will be adding goat cheese in addition to greens.
Serve the dish by piling a small mound of arugula (or other baby greens) and topping with the pasta, shrimp and veggies. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over this and enjoy!
If you have leftovers, store the pasta separately from the greens to avoid wilting the greens.
Looking for a collage to pin?