Angel Hair Pasta Salad W/Shrimp

If you are looking for something a little different in the way of a pasta salad this is a very tasty choice with just the right amount of crunch from the toasted almonds. A great salad to take to a get together. I added shrimp and it made a great light meal. If you add a protein or not it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This recipe is also very easy to cut in half for your family or a smaller group. Refrigerate the leftovers.

1 pound angel hair pasta.
1/2 cup olive oil.
4 cloves garlic, minced.
1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese.
4-6 large roma tomatoes, seeded and diced.
Large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
1 - 4 oz. package sliced almonds, lightly toasted (you can do this over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet).
Coarse salt (I used my sea salt grinder so it was a little more coarse than regular salt).
Shrimp (optional). I love the frozen raw shrimp at Costco. I used seven per person if you are serving as a light meal. Otherwise use your discretion.

1. Boil water for pasta. When water starts boiling, add some salt to the water. Add pasta and cook until al dent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl.

2. While pasta is boiling, sauté garlic in olive oil until sizzling and very lightly browned (don't burn the garlic or it will taste bitter). Pour garlic and olive oil over warm pasta and toss. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so of coarse salt over the noodles and add 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Toss again. Let noodles cool slightly.

3. Use the same pan that you used for the garlic and sauté the shrimp, should only take about 3-4 minutes. Set aside for dressing the salad.

4. Lightly brown sliced almonds on medium-low heat in a not stick fry pan. Watch closely so they don't burn.

5. Right before serving, top noodles with diced tomatoes, lightly toasted almonds, torn basil and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and sautéed shrimp if using. Very lightly toss, being careful not to let all the toppings go to the bottom.