Pasta Shells and Smoked Shellfish Salad

2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tbs grainy mustard
2 tsp shallots, finely diced
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup safflower or vegetable oil
2 tsp of oil from smoked shellfish pkg
12 oz pasta shells, prepared according to package directions
8 oz smoked mussels, oysters or clams, or a combination of the three
1 ripe tomato, fresh cut into julienne strips
1/2 cup carrots, cut julienne and blanched tender and crisp
1/2 cup string beans, cut julienne and blanched tender and crisp

In a small bowl, add the sherry vinegar, mustard, shallots and sugar, salt and pepper, stir to combine. Gradually whisk in the oil until incorporated. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta shells, shellfish, tomato, carrots, and string beans. Pour approximately 3/4 of the dressing over the salad. Toss salad to coat with dressing. Reserve the remaining dressing. Refrigerate salad for at least 2 hours. Just prior to serving, toss salad with remaining dressing. Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce.

Serves 8 as a side dish.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana