Pasta Primavera Salad With Shrimp And Basil Cream




Basil Cream - prepare ahead (see recipe)

Pasta: Drop pasta into large pot of boiling water. Boil rapidly until the pasta is tender, but still firm. Drain in colander, rinse with cold water an drain again. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and vinegars. Season to taste; toss again. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Vegetables: Separately steam the asparagus and broccoli just until crisp tender (do not overcook). Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Steam fresh peas in the same manner and rinse with cold water (if using frozen peas, do not steam). Store vegetables in refrigerator in separate plastic bags.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and refrigerate. Thoroughly wash spinach leaves. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate.

Seafood: Poach shrimp in gently boiling water until firm and pink. Rinse with cold water. Cut shrimp in half and place in bowl. Toss with oil, vinegars and garlic.

To assemble: About 30 minutes before serving, arrange the spinach leaves around the outer edge of a large platter. Gently toss pasta with vegetables. Arrange the pasta in the center of the platter with the spinach leaves as a border. Make a well in the center for the seafood. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and mound in the center of the pasta. Serve with Basil Cream. 8-10 servings.

Basil Cream Ingredients:

Combine vinegar, mustard, basil and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until almost smooth. With the machine running, add oil. Add sour cream, whipping cream and parsley and continue processing until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until shortly before serving. Makes 3 cups.