Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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For the Shrimp:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Pasta:

1 pound spaghetti

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (optional)

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons capers, fried


  1. Make the shrimp: In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper; add to the preheated pan in a single layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until pink and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Make the pasta: Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, parmesan and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl to blend.
  3. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, shrimp and the reserved cooking liquid, adding it 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with the salt and pepper; stir in the basil. Garnish with the fried capers and more parmesan, if desired.

Cook’s Note

How to Fry Capers: Drain, rinse and dry the capers very well. Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a small straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the capers and fry for about 2 minutes, or until they have popped open and are golden brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

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