This Lemon Pasta with Shrimp is out of this world. The lemon shines through, the capers and garlic give it extra oomph and the butter makes it rich and silky. Seriously good!
My sister Mindy begs me to make this dish every time I have a family dinner. And I’ve served it many times to friends with big raves.
The trick to this dish is timing. Pop the shrimp into the oven when you put the pasta in to boil. Make the sauce while the pasta is boiling, then turn off the heat, drain the pasta and toss everything together. It’s that simple. Once you’ve made this lemon pasta with shrimp recipe once, making it again (and again) becomes a snap.
By the way, the roasted shrimp, a la Ina Garten, can be made on their own as an appetizer served with cocktail sauce or added to any other dish for that matter.
Other than the tips, shortcuts and variations below, there’s not much more that can be said. This dish is delicious, fast and looks beautiful. Give it a try.You won’t be disappointed.
- Have all the ingredients prepped ahead of time so that everything is on hand to pull together in the last 8-10 minutes.
- You can saute the shrimp instead of roasting them, but I much prefer the roasting method. It’s more hands-off, you avoid the fry smell and the shrimp always come out perfectly plump and juicy in 6-7 minutes.
- How to tell when shrimp is cooked: Don’t overcook the shrimp or they will turn rubbery! When the end of the thicker part of the shrimp (opposite the tail) turns opaque, the shrimp is done. The inside should just lose its translucence, but not be totally white. The outside will turn bright pink unless they are white pacific shrimp.
Shortcut for Lemon Pasta With Shrimp
- Buy shrimp already peeled and de-veined.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Substitute the shrimp with chicken.
- Use smaller shrimp and cook for a minute or two less.
- Leave out the shrimp and add roasted or sauteed vegetables for a vegetarian version.
- Adjust the amount of garlic, lemon and capers to your liking.
Lemon Shrimp Pasta in 30 Minutes
- 2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-21 per pound)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
- 3/4 lb spaghettinni or angel hair pasta (375 g/12 ounces)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 large lemon - the juice and the zest
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated (frozen cubes ok too)
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F. Have all ingredients ready to go.
- ROAST SHRIMP: Pat shrimp dry and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a foil-lined pan. Roast for 6-8 minutes until pink and barely no longer translucent. Don't overcook.
- COOK PASTA: Boil pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving one cup of the pasta liquid for the sauce.
- MAKE LEMON SAUCE: While pasta is boiling, heat butter in a large pan on medium-low. Add all the other sauce ingredients except parsley (including spinach and tomatoes if using). Mix well for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat.
- ASSEMBLE: Add the hot pasta to the sauce and toss together. Add less than 1/2 cup of reserved pasta liquid to make a smooth consistency (use more if needed). Add roasted shrimp with juice in pan. Sprinkle on parsley. Toss together, adjust seasonings if needed and serve immediately.
This Lemon Pasta with Shrimp recipe was originally published on Two Kooks in The Kitchen in April 2016.
Here are some other shrimp dishes you might like:
Grilled Shrimp Tacos With Coconut Lime Chili Sauce get the recipe
Herb Smothered Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta get the recipe
Thai Curried Shrimp and Vegetables get the recipe