This is one of my favorite pasta salads and I've been making it for years. It's smooth and creamy with tender shrimp and just a slight crunch of sweet onion and celery. I make it with elbows and sometimes with spiral pasta but my favorite is Cavatappi. I like the way the ridges hold the dressing and make it creamy and delicious. I like to eat it warm when I first make it and then refrigerate it for a few days of eating it chilled. So good! It's one of those salads that just gets better each day as the flavors meld together. Don't forget to add the Old Bay seasoning for the perfect blend of spices!
Cavatappi Shrimp Salad
1 box Cavatapi pasta
1 lb large precooked fresh or frozen shrimp, thawed and cut in pieces
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 Vidalia or sweet onion chopped
2 teaspoons fresh dill weed
2 teaspoons celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup mayo (I only use Hellman's Real Mayo)
1 tablespoon of milk or half and half
If using frozen peeled and cleaned shrimp, thaw them over night in bag they came in so you can save some of the liquid.
Cook pasta in large pot of salted, boiling water until tender. Drain pasta and add to large bowl. Do not rinse the pasta.
While pasta is cooking, remove tails from shrimp and cut into preferred sized pieces. In a separate bowl whisk together mayo, cream (or half and half), a little teaspoon of the shrimp liquid, diced celery, chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill weed, Old Bay seasoning and parsley.
Add dressing to pasta and mix in well. Then fold in shrimp making sure you distribute throughout. You may not need all the dressing if you prefer your salads to be more dry. I like mine creamy. Taste dressing to see if you need more seasonings.
I serve this warm when I first make it and then cold for the next day or two. It just gets better.
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