This Seafood Pasta Salad uses cold Atlantic shrimp and crab meat for a delicious summer supper. Fresh garden peas are also a great addition.
I wanted a different kind of pasta salad. Mine all seem to lean toward the Italian or Greek flavours. With the heat wave we have been having the seafood theme seemed to be a lighter choice.
This is a great recipe for entertaining. It is easy, elegant and the quantities are enough to feed a crowd. It also works for a family with lots of leftovers for the next day. It makes about 14 cups so if you are not feeding a crowd cut it in half!
I love those little frozen cold Atlantic salad shrimp. They come cleaned, cooked and frozen. They are creamy and sweet. If you can find shrimp de Matane, speciality salad shrimp from the Gaspe you are in for a real treat!
I was able to buy real, frozen crab meat at my local fish superstore (Caudle’s Catch in Kitchener) so I was all set. All I had to cook was the macaroni. Not so bad to do early in the morning of a hot summer day! It needs a few hours to cool in the fridge and let the flavours meld so win-win on a hot day. Make ahead in the morning when it’s cool and your work is done!
I also had some fresh garden peas in my fridge that I wanted to use. I like frozen peas, canned peas, any kind of peas really – but fresh from the garden are a real treat. I steamed them with a tablespoon of water in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. For the amount that I had they were still partially raw, crunchy and tasty. I would recommend not over cooking them (not really cooking them at all…not even wrinkly….)
There is no added salt or pepper in this recipe. The shrimp and crab are almost sweet so I didn’t want to introduce any saltiness. So.. healthy! Use light mayonnaise and light sour cream as well to keep it lighter.
I served this salad as part of a picnic menu. More on that later!
Wine Pairing for Seafood Pasta Salad
A crisp white with good acidity will cut through the creaminess of the mayonnaise here. A light Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio or a fruity-profile Sauvignon Blanc (avoid apronounced grassy Sauvignon Blancs for this one) would work here.
Rosé would also complement this really well. Fruity and off-dry would complement the sweetness of the crab in the salad. Rosés also tend to have good acidity as well.
Seafood Pasta Salad
- 15 oz macaroni about 6 cups cooked
- 9 oz salad shrimp cooked and thawed
- 6 oz crab meat cooked and thawed
- 3 large celery stalks finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 sweet red pepper finely diced
- 2 cups peas
- 3/4 cup sweet, green relish
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
- Cook the macaroni according to manufacturer's instructions. Rinse with cold water to halt cooking. Stir while it is cooling and draining so it doesn't stick together.
- If using fresh or frozen peas microwave about 3 minutes on high with a Tablespoon of water. You do not want to really cook them. They should not be wrinkly. If using canned peas just drain them.
- Mix the mayo, sour cream and relish together.
- When the pasta is room temperature add the shrimp, crab and vegetables. Stir in the mayo mixture til evenly mixed. Stir in parsley last.
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow it to chill.