Seafood Pasta Salad

When one of my husband’s former students was getting married, friends threw a “Kitchen Shower” and they asked for a recipe to go into a file box for her. I gave her the recipe below, since she was a Catholic marrying another ‘good’ Catholic. I put a note saying, “This is good for Fridays during Lent”. He sister said, “No! It’s cheese enchiladas every Friday during Lent!” Their father was of French descent, but their mother was Mexican. Her enchiladas were delicious, if a bit hot for me…even her ‘mild ones’. It seems some of their children had her taste buds, but some of them had their French genes show up there and the Mom had to make both types.
However, in keeping with the seafood theme I have been running, this is a recipe that is not only good for Lent, but we eat it often in the summer. It is cool and can be made up to a day ahead of time,(and earlier, if you add the lettuce later.)

It is versatile; You can use any grilled fish, crab meat or lobster,(although I have never used lobster). I usually use ‘imitation’ crab meat, but only those that are made with crab meat and real whitefish,(usually Pollock). Read the labels; many ‘imitation crab meats’ are made with Surimi, which is the fish equivalent of ‘pink slime’ that has been creeping into ground beef. These are made from scrap flesh that have been processed. It is considered ‘natural’ but I find it tasteless and rubbery. I avoid it .Brands made without it is about the same price; I see no reason to buy the ones that contain surimi.
Vegetable pastas add a bit more nutrition and flavor, and the color makes it all the more attractive.

Today’s is made with shrimp,(not farmed; the smaller they are the more affordable) and bow-tie pasta. I usually use rotini or fiori; they hold together through the mixing process better and looks much more impressive.

One-bowl easy meal for warm weather or Lent

One-bowl easy meal for warm weather or Lent

Seafood Pasta Salad

½ lb of sturdy pasta, preferably ‘garden or tri-colored'( rotini, radiatore, wagon wheels or fiori,), slightly under-cooked

2 hard-cooked (hard-boiled) eggs, minced or riced

½ lb(or more) grilled fish, small shrimp ,crab meat or imitation crab

½ cup shredded carrot

¼ cup sliced or diced black olives (optional; one son does not like them)

1/3 cup thinly sliced celery

1/8 cup minced onion, (green onions or yellow bulb onions

¼ tsp. celery salt (or regular/sea salt)
1 tsp paprika

½ tsp celery seed (optional)

1 ½ cups shredded lettuce,(leaf or red can be used, but iceberg holds up the best)

1 cup prepared mayonnaise

Cook and cool the pasta and eggs.
Place the mayo, celery seed,(if using), paprika, and onion in a large bowl. Mix.
Add carrots, celery and olives,(again, if using), and mix well.
Fold in pasta and then gently fold in lettuce.(If serving more than 16 hours ahead, wait to add lettuce).
Chill and serve.

You have a nice, one –bowl meal that is wonderful for a Spring or Summer luncheon, light dinner or potluck

12 thoughts on “Seafood Pasta Salad

    1. Tonette Joyce

      They have been slipping a lot past us,Tamara;I am always glad to be of help. I know you aren’t a ‘fish’ person, but maybe other seafood appeals to you. Thanks for coming by!

      1. Tonette Joyce

        Tamara, it will say so, usually right on the front of the label.”This product contains sirimi”. Where I live we have a very large Kroger with many wonderful and now, foreign foods, but none of the imitation crab they sell is surimi-free.I have to go to WalMart or Dollar General Market to find ‘real’ (!) imitation crab.

  1. petit4chocolatier

    This is so incredibly different than most pasta salads. Looks and sounds delicious Tonette 🙂

    1. Tonette Joyce

      Oh, well, Sinead, you are in Ireland! I am so jealous for many reasons , but I would be if only for the variety of seafood that must be readily available to you. We are well inland and even decent tinned real crab is expensive. So much of our crab came from the Chesapeake Bay and it has been fished-out, not to mention expansion and pollution has taken its toll. The same with New England. The BIG crabs come from Alaska which is so very far and it is expensive to ship from so far; we can never get them truly fresh.Unfortunately, the same is happening up there with the crabs, over-fishing and with the oil pipelines and everything going on.
      We ‘make do’ with the imitation, but it pales in comparison to the real-deal.
      As I said,I have never tried it with lobster,(it would work), and with salmon, as well.
      Always a pleasure to hear from you!


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