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Ina Garten’s “Very Summer in the Hamptons” Lobster Pasta Salad

Be transported to the Hamptons of the 1970s with Ina Garten’s Lobster Pasta Salad. Inspired by the popular dish of the day from a specialty food store (not hers), Garten’s version is a little more Barefoot Contessa. Read: Full of flavor and some of the Food Network star’s go-to ingredients.

Garten’s Lobster Pasta Salad originally appeared in Is it easy?, her 2010 Barefoot Contessa cookbook (you’ll find it on page 94). Not only did she share details about the dish, but also where she found inspiration for the recipe.

“In the 1970s, there was a specialty food store in Amagansett, New York called The Store. No summer party in the Hamptons was complete without Bert Greens’ famous Ziti salad,” Garten said.

She went on to say that she made the salad with poor results. “It had less flavor than I remembered,” she said before adding, “our palates have changed so much!”

So Garten set to work revamping the salad and developing his own version. “This salad is my homage to Bert, but it has more flavor — lobster, corn, tomatoes and dill — it’s very summer in the Hamptons,” she said.

Make Ina Garten’s Lobster Pasta Salad in 20 Minutes

Ina Garten and Seth Meyers | Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Garten’s Lobster Pasta Salad is in Is it easy? For a reason. It’s, well, easy to do. According Food Networkshe spends 20 minutes preparing the salad.

To start, Garten brings a large pot of water to boil with kosher salt and olive oil. Then she throws in little pasta shells (she suggests Ronzoni) and cooks them until al dente. From there, she adds corn (remember Garten’s trick for removing the corn from the cob) and cooks it for a few minutes until tender.

The preparation of Garten’s Lobster Pasta Salad continues with draining the pasta and corn. She transfers them to a large mixing bowl before adding the green onions, orange pepper, cherry tomatoes and cooked fresh lobster meat.

While the mixture cools, Garten prepares the dressing in a separate bowl. She mixes “good” mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, kosher salt and pepper. Finally, she pours it over the pasta and corn, tossing everything to combine. Next, Garten adds fresh dill, covers the bowl, and puts it in the fridge to chill for six hours while the flavors develop. Just before serving, she gives the lobster pasta salad a taste and adds a little seasoning if needed.

Ina Garten’s tips for preparing a pasta salad with lobster

Garten has some suggestions for making lobster pasta salad at home. Similar to other Barefoot Contessa cooking tips, her advice is simple and straightforward.

The noodles for the lobster pasta salad are important, according to Garten. “It’s important to use small shells so the corn kernels can get stuck inside,” she said. That is, don’t use angel hair or fettuccine.

Also, don’t panic if the sauce seems to have disappeared when you take the lobster salad out of the fridge. “If the sauce is too thick after cooling,” Garten said, “add a few tablespoons of milk, cream, or lemon juice to thin it out.”

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