Cam Lusco’s Crawfish Pasta Salad

Here’s another recipe for Louisiana crawfish — Crawfish Pasta Salad. This is a different take on using crawfish. Mixed in with pasta, the recipe is really quite tasty. The recipe is one I’ve kept for years — never throw away a good recipe.Crawfish Pasta Salad - 2 - IMG_8151

Hospital “Pink Lady” Volunteers

The recipe is from Cam Lusco. She was a “Pink Lady” volunteer at the small rural hospital where I was employed as food service director years ago. The “Pink Ladiies”, or members of the Ladies Auxiliary, really ruled the hospital. Back then the pink ladies served in many indispensable volunteer capacities including manning the front desk and conducting funding raising activities. They wore pink jackets and at their volunteer annual luncheon you saw a sea of pink.

As Food Service Director, I was always on the lookout for new recipes or ideas for the many catered meals we served. Cam was always bright and cheery and I recall that she shared one of her favorite recipes with me. With an Italian-heritage husband-physician, Cam was a good Italian cook.

Cam Lusco’s Crawfish Pasta Salad Recipe

Combining crawfish and pasta may not be the most common way to serve crawfish, but give it a try. The pasta really complements the flavor of peeled crawfish tails.This recipe isn’t spicy but then not all Cajun or Louisiana recipes are “hot.” That’s a recent “invention” and a misconception that you have to have a fan to cool yourself down after eating a Cajun meal. The flavor in the recipe comes from the fresh herbs, dried mustard and (of course) garlic.

This is a simple recipe, very easy to prepare. Here are the ingredients for the pasta component of the salad. Just a little celery and green onions chopped up in the pasta salad along with the boiled, peeled crawfish. The hard boiled eggs are my addition to the salad. Crawfish Pasta Salad Ingredients - IMG_8100

The salad dressing is a vinegar and oil dressing with sour cream added.Salad Dressing Ingredients - 2 - IMG_8103The seasoning and flavor of the pasta salad comes from the fresh herbs — dill and parsley — as well as dried mustard, garlic and a little sugar and black pepper. Cam says that the salad dressing can be prepared ahead and refrigerated. The flavors blend together.

I am lucky this winter to have a fresh supply of dill and Italian flat leaf parsley growing a small iron pot just outside my back door. Last fall I filled the pot with gravel and Jiffy Mix potting soil. The herbs have grown well all fall and winter.Parsley and Dill growing in potTo prepare the salad, blend the ingredients for the salad dressing and chill.Salad Dressing - Mixed - IMG_8122If you are using partially cooked crawfish tails, or even fully cooked tails, I suggest sauteing them in a little oil until they become hot, adding  bit of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. Don’t over cook the crawfish or they will become tough and rubbery. These crawfish tails are fully cooked. Check the package for this information. As previously mentioned in the last post, Louisiana crawfish are identified as such on the package. I highly recommend avoiding Chinese crawfish as they taste totally different.Peeled and Cooked Crawfish - IMG_8074Then boil the pasta in salted water and drain. The recipe calls for one pound of small shells. This makes a large recipe! Hard boil the eggs, chop the celery and green onions and blend the salad dressing. Mix everything up — then chill the pasta salad until ready to serve.Assemble IngredientsGarnish with additional parsley and dill. Another recipe for a meal-in-one.Crawfish Pasta Salad - 3 -

Cam Lusco's Crawfish Pasta Salad

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled, cooked crawfish tails (if 1 lb packages are not available substitute a 12 oz package)
  • 1 lb pasta (small shells), cooked in salted water according to package directions and drained
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled and chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh dill (to taste)

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 1 cup oil (not olive oil)
  • 5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • coursely ground black pepper to taste

Method and Steps

  1. Mix dressing first by combining all ingredients. Use a whisk to blend in the sour cream. The salad dressing can be made up ahead of time.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine crawfish tails, cooked pasta, hard boiled eggs (optional), green onions and celery.
  3. Season with fresh dill weed to taste.
  4. Pour dressing over crawfish mixture and serve.

The evening was warm; we enjoyed the pasta salad on our back deck!Bowl of Crawfish Pasta Salad - IMG_8141

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