I’ve heard people sometimes complain that pasta salads aren’t a “real” meal because they’re so light. This one will make a believer out of anyone who has turned his nose up at pasta salad in the past. Meaty eggplant chunks, cannellini beans, plus lots of grilled seafood make this as filling and robust as it is attractive on the plate.
Neapolitan Calamari and Shrimp Salad
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ pound orzo pasta about 1 cup
- ½ pound calamari bodies and tentacles
- ½ pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 zucchini cut lengthwise in 3 slices
- 1 Japanese eggplant cut lengthwise in 3 slices
- 2 plum tomatoes halved lengthwise
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 ounces arugula about 3 cups
- ¬æ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ‚Öî cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Meanwhile, place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
- Drizzle the seafood, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the calamari and shrimp until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Grill the zucchini and eggplant until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Grill the tomatoes cut side down just until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes.
- Cut the calamari bodies into 1-inch rings. Add the calamari rings and tentacles and the shrimp to the bowl with the orzo. Cut the zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes into 1-inch pieces and add them to the bowl with the orzo and seafood. Toss to combine.
- Add the cannellini beans, arugula, basil, parsley, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and toss again. Gently spoon the salad into a serving bowl and serve.