Mermaid Pasta

Active Time: 5 Mins
Total Time: 15 Mins
Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 1 cup)

This perfect, butter pasta is super easy to make and will serve a group of kids for less than $3.00. Pack it in a school lunch (and cause some serious lunch envy), serve it as an after-school snack or add it to the spread at any summer or pool party. Hold on to a little bit of that pasta water: mixed with the butter and cheese, it keeps the pasta from being too dry. 


  • 1 gallon water
  • 16 ounces uncooked pasta shells
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Hot pink, purple, and turquoise gel food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh basil

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high. Add pasta shells and salt to boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. 

Step 2

Divide pasta among 3 ziplock plastic bags. Add 2 drops of pink coloring to 1 bag, 2 drops of purple coloring to second bag, and 2 drops of turquoise coloring to third bag. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter to each bag. Seal bags, and toss to coat pasta in color. 

Step 3

Combine all pasta in a serving bowl, and toss with Parmesan cheese as “sand”. Garnish with basil as “seaweed”. 

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