Last night was a "whatever is in the kitchen" moment. I'd been on the road, then spent the day helping my son set up his new apartment and had yet to restock the kitchen. But I did have a stash of assorted vegetables from the backyard garden and recent trip to the Longmont Farmers Market. An the box of acini di pepe pasta on the pantry shelf had been staring me in the face for a while. Time to put it all to use.
Acini di pepe, the Italian phrase for "grains of pepper," cooks up into pearly minute globes of pasta, perfect for a chilled summer salad. The circular pasta is perhaps better known as an ingredient in soups, especially Italian Wedding Soup. Italian pasta gets an Asian twist in this recipe with a light rice vinegar and peanut oil dressing.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
2 Tbsp peanut oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
(Plus juices from sautéed shrimp)
1 C acini di pepe, dry
1 lb raw pink Patagonia shrimp (or other variety), peeled
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 medium cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 French radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped onion
Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Cook acini de pepe according to package directions; drain and cool. In a medium pan, heat peanut oil. Add shrimp and saute until just done. Remove from heat. Drain off juices into small bowl with dressing ingredients and whisk. Cut shrimp in halves or thirds. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Total Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 2g
% of Calories from Fat: 35%
% Calories from Sat Fat: 5%
Added sugar: 1g
Dietary Fiber: 1g