Earlier this year, my friend/colleague Julia introduced me to a dish called Shrimp Gambino. It’s apparently a big holiday favorite in her family, and she kindly shared the recipe around the office. (The photocopy she shared could have come from my mom’s kitchen – covered as it was with handwritten notes.) I made a batch not long after, and it was as easy as it was delicious. It did surprise me in one way, though – I totally did not expect that the feta cheese would melt in with the tomatoes to and make a sauce. I don’t know why this was a shock. After all, cheese is pretty well known for being a melty food product, and feta is a fairly soft cheese at that, so I should have seen it coming.
Fast forward to this weekend, when I decided I wanted to make a pasta salad to bring for lunch at work this week. I couldn’t decide what to put in it – until I thought about the Shrimp Gambino recipe. It occurred to me that it could pretty easily be adapted into a cold recipe, using the ricotta-makes-all-pasta-salads-amazing trick I learned from my friend Jordi last summer.
I was pretty happy with the way it came out:
(Note: I am not precise with measuring, so everything is approximate.)
8 ounces pasta (I used fusilli)
6 cloves of garlic chopped/pressed/otherwise rendered into small bits
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pints of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
feta cheese, crumbled (I used a block about the size of a deck of cards)
handful of parsley, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
Cook the pasta (duh). While the pasta is cooking, saute the garlic in olive oil for a couple of minutes, add in the shrimp in and cook until done. When the pasta is finished, rinse with cold water until it’s fairly cool. Mix the shrimp and garlic in, and then stir in the ricotta cheese. Add the tomatoes, feta, parsley, and pepper.
I found that it tasted better (and had a better consistency) the second day – the pasta absorbed a little of the ricotta’s moisture, so it wasn’t so sticky. So, I’d suggest a little less ricotta if you’re going to serve it immediately, or plan ahead for eight hours in the fridge.