My boyfriend said this recipe was a pasta that women will love. Translation: it was light, with delicate flavors and a skinny pasta noodle. He prefers robust, puts-hair-on-your-chest pastas that are heavy and rich. But this pasta includes shrimp, and in my opinion, shrimp have a delicate flavor that is easily overwhelmed by robust flavors.
The citrus in this dish was not sour at all, and instead was more like an essence of lemon that met perfectly with the shrimp, which I roasted with garlic and olive oil.
In brief: I absolutely loved it! I suppose I’m always uneasy with recipes that only have five ingredients, but the balance of flavors matched perfectly and it was such an elegant dish. Really, I would make this for a first date (what are those?). It impressed me by its simplicity, yet the flavors were complex. Not bland at all.
I have made a capellini and shrimp dish before and wasn’t wowed. But I have the solution: GOOD SHRIMP! Jesse bought these fresh, wild-caught shrimp at Fresh Market (a bigger Whole Foods) because he wanted to use the shrimp de-veiner-peeler tool that he bought me for my bday. But of course you don’t need any fancy utensils. This method of cooking shrimp is easy and really enhances the flavor. I will always cook shrimp this way in the future.
Before I post the recipe, let me note: never question Ina Garten. She wrote this original recipe, and if she says 2 tsp of kosher salt, you better do exactly that. She tests her recipes a dozen times, so she knows exactly what she’s doing. Don’t believe me? Read the comments about her recipes on FoodNetwork.com. They are always rave, which is how I came upon this one. However, even perfection needs a tweak or two. I’ve changed it a bit based on my preferences (the original recipe has no garlic!).
Lemony pasta with roasted shrimp
- 1.5-2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 lb. angel hair pasta
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
- Shaved Parm-Reg, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400.
Toss shrimp with 1 T olive oil, garlic, a little less than 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cracked pepper. Spread in an even layer on a sheet pan and roast for 6-8 min., until just pink and cooked through. You will smell it when it’s ready. Set aside.
Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil for pasta. When boiling, add a handful of salt and a glug of olive oil, then the whole box of pasta. Stir and cook until al dente, about 3 min.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: heat butter and 1/4 c. olive oil in a large skillet. When all melted, add zest, juice from the lemons, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 c. of the pasta water.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and mix to combine. Add the shrimp and toss together. Top with extra zest, parsley and Parmesan cheese to taste.
This dish reminds me of airy sun dresses – sweet and sunny. It is delish! As I said, trust in Ina – she knows her ingredients and her seasonings. This one will impress. Serve with toast, salad, a crusty bread and a crisp glass of white wine.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo