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Pasta Shells with Shrimp and Garlicky Bread Crumbs

Parmesan and a lemon anchovy dressing coat shells, shrimp, and curly endive for a pasta salad that's second cousin to a shrimp Caesar. Instead of big croutons, sauteed bread crumbs make a crisp topping.


slideshow More Terrific Salads


  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 ounces shredded curly endive (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan


  1. In a medium nonstick frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Add the bread crumbs, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta shells until almost done, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until both the shrimp and the pasta shells are done, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Drain thoroughly.
  3. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1/2 cup oil slowly, whisking.
  4. Add the pasta and shrimp, the curly endive, and the 1/3 cup Parmesan to the dressing and toss. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature, topped with the garlic bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Suggested Pairing

There's a reason Pinot Grigio is so popular: It goes well with multiple- and strong-flavored food such as this. Full-bodied, yet fresh and tart, Pinot Grigio works with salads; its soft apple and nut notes are perfect foils for garlic and Parmesan.

Photo © Raymond Hom Published June 2012

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