Creamy Orecchiette with Herbs & Shrimp

I’ve been on a major salad kick the last few weeks and have been trying to avoid my true loves, Mexican food and pasta. All the leafy greens and chicken have got the job done but the pasta craving hit me pretty hard the other night. Like all “master dieters” will say, instead of fighting the craving I decided to give in and opt for a guilt free, summery pasta to quench my carb craving.

I adapted the recipe from Cooking Light’s Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing with just a few minor changes. It wouldn’t be dinner in my house if we didn’t eat past 9pm so needless to say I was starving by the time the pasta was done. I ate it hot (which was delicious) but I would definitely suggest letting the pasta cool (for 20-30 minutes) or refrigerate overnight. The flavors the next day were even better then the night before.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. While the pasta cooks heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute the onions until tender; add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add the shrimp and saute until mostly cooked through and translucent, around 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the green peas and radishes, saute until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the pasta. Use a splash of the starchy pasta water to scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Set aside.

Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Pour over the pasta and toss until nicely coated. Enjoy hot or refrigerate overnight for a tasty pasta salad lunch.

Bon Appetit!

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