A PTA Pleaser: Shrimp and Pasta Salad Recipe Sure to Delight

Photos by L.G. Patterson

A few years ago, at a PTA salad luncheon, someone brought the most wonderful shrimp and pasta salad. It was all the things: crunchy, creamy and full of shrimp and vegetables.

I found myself going back for a second helping and doing what caterers do, breaking down the recipe in my head. Finally, I asked, “Who made this salad?”

As it turns out, it was my dear friend Terri Stanley. The recipe is one she had gotten from her mother-in-law, Norma, and it was the thing that made me ask Stanley if she wanted to join me in my work kitchen.

It really IS that good.

Stanley is my rock, my ghostwriter, my therapist and the best sous chef in town. She knows exactly what to do to bring more flavor, color and texture to a dish. But most of all, she knows what to do to keep me calm, productive and looking like I know what I’m doing.

Together, we’ve survived COVID catering, launched a meals business and moved into our new downtown location. Through it all, we’ve cooked for our clients, and for each other’s families, and delighted in this salad. We offer it as a light meal and I know you will enjoy it as well, especially in the heat of the summer.

Raise a glass to Norma, and to old friends, as you enjoy it.

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Norma's Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked and peeled shrimp
  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked (TIP: Stanley prefers the little shells or elbow)
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 bell pepper chopped (TIP: We like red or orange for color)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed to thaw lightly

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (TIP: I like to add the zest as well)
  • 1 tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Mix all dressing ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Put pasta in large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss gently.
  • Add dressing and toss again.
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