Summer Shrimp Pasta

Summer and seafood go hand in hand. I can’t imagine a summer trip to the beach without visiting a rundown crab shack that spreads brown paper out on the tables, then piles them high with steamed blue crabs and boiled shrimp.

We often recreate our summer crab shack experiences by throwing a Low Country Boil for friends and family. Shrimp, crabs, smoked sausage, new potatoes and corn boil together in huge pot on an outdoor cooker. Several summers ago, after a weekend low country boil left me with extra cooked shrimp, I came up with this simple uncooked sauce for pasta. The leftover peeled shrimp are combined with diced tomatoes, minced garlic, hearts of palm, capers, oil and vinegar and coarsely shredded Parmesan. The dish is good warm, right after tossing, and also makes a great cold pasta salad.

When you don’t have a surplus of boiled shrimp on hand, simply have your supermarket peel and steam your shrimp for you. Or, serve a meal of boiled shrimp one night and cook enough shrimp to create this quick pasta the next. The ingredients can be varied, as I developed the recipe using what I had on hand. Canned diced tomatoes can replace the fresh, artichoke hearts can substitute for the hearts of palm and crumbled feta cheese can stand in for the Parmesan.

  • 9 ounces fresh angel hair or linguine pasta
  • 1 pound cooked and peeled shrimp
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced or 1 14.5-ounce can peeled and diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 14-ounce can hearts of palm or quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 3.5-ounce can capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 4-ounce block Parmesan or Romano cheese, coarsely grated or
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine shrimp, tomatoes, hearts of palm or artichoke hearts, capers, vinegar, olive oil and seasonings.

Drain pasta in a colander and return to the pot. Pour sauce over pasta and toss. Add cheese and toss again. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve as a cold pasta salad.

Makes 6 servings.