30-Minute Shrimp and Pasta Salad with Fennel and Feta
Pasta salads are often a bland assemblage of bloated pasta and tired flavorings swimming in an oily dressing. We wanted to change that with a pasta salad that had a bright, assertive vinaigrette and substantial enough flavorings to make the dish a main-course salad.
Why This Recipe Works
To allow the hot pasta to soak up the dressing without turning mushy, we found it best to cook the pasta for our shrimp and pasta salad recipe until al dente and then toss it immediately with a portion of the dressing before placing it in the refrigerator to chill. For a bright dressing for our pasta salad that complemented the shrimp and fennel, we liked Greek flavors like oregano and garlic combined with feta cheese, red wine vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil. For most vinaigrettes, we use a 4-1 ratio of oil to vinegar, but in this case it came across as far too oily, so we decreased the oil for a more flavorful salad with a less greasy texture.