How many of my fellow Nevadans are feeling this summer heat? It is just sweltering out there. These hot July and August days make me cringe at the thought of turning my kitchen oven on. Standing over a grill with a nice white wine spritzer doesn’t appeal to me either. This is when my quick and easy cold pasta salad with pesto swoops in to rescue your dinner time heat wave. This shrimp pesto pasta salad is perfect for a hot day. It can be finished in 30 minutes or less for those crunched on time, and is very versatile to adapt to your taste. If you do not eat meat or seafood, you can add artichoke and black olives instead of shrimp. Shrimp pesto pasta salad Ingredients 2 lemons (juice and zest) Lemon pepper seasoning 2 jars of pesto (or one big one) 1 package of cheese tortellini (fresh) Peeled and deveined raw shrimp Basil 1 package of frozen peas Freshly grated Asiago cheese First you want to make sure your shrimp is thawed out. Season the shrimp with olive oil, lemon pepper, and salt. Next, get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. Make sure you add salt to the pasta water for some seasoning to your tortellini. Pour the frozen peas (they do not have to be thawed out) into a large serving bowl. We want to time this so that the shrimp and the fresh cheese tortellini are cooking at the same time. Zest and squeeze the juice from both lemons into another small mixing bowl. Then get your skillet pan hot to toss your shrimp in around the same time your pasta water starts to boil. Cook your shrimp and your pasta at the same time. The shrimp will be done in about 6 minutes or when they turn opaque. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and add one jar of pesto to your cooked shrimp pan along with some of the zest and juice of your lemons. Save some juice and zest for when the pasta is finished. Next, we want to drain the pasta while saving about 1/8 of a cup of your pasta water. Pour your shrimp and pesto mixture into the serving dish with your frozen peas. Now we will add the cooked pasta to this dish along with the rest of the lemon juice, zest, 1/8 cup pasta water, and the other jar of pesto. Stir and gently mix everything together so there is a nice coating of pesto sauce all over everything. The heat from the shrimp and the pasta will be enough to thaw out your peas. This dish can be made ahead of time and served cold or warm right after it’s finished. Top this with freshly chopped basil and grated asiago cheese. Serve with chilled white or rose wine. Tara Riddle is a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Select. She has previously worked at Comma Coffee in Carson City, baking desserts like muffins, and soups from scratch. She also works at the Farmer's Market in Carson City or Black Rock Bison.
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