Who doesn’t love a quick pasta dish for a busy weeknight? Especially one that does not require long simmering sauces or multi-step cooking instructions. This recipe for best easy spaghetti with lemon-garlic sauce is exactly that: by the time you boil the water and cook the pasta, the sauce is ready and you can sit down to dinner in less than 30 minutes.
The ingredients for this recipe are few: spaghetti, shrimp, lemon, garlic and parsley. Clean and pat dry the shrimp, then mince the garlic and the parsley while the water comes to the boil. The pasta will cook by the time you make the sauce and cook the shrimp; all you have to do is toss everything together for this easy pasta meal.
This pasta recipe is a very similar to Pasta Aglio e Olio, but with the addition of shrimp and lemon. A variation of this recipe uses scallops instead of the shrimp. Spring vegetables, like asparagus cut into small, one-inch pieces, would also be a great addition. The sautéed lemon slices not only make the dish look pretty, but also have a practical role in this dish; if pressed against the shrimp with the back of the fork they give it a sweet and more lemony flavor!
- ¾ lb. spaghetti
- 3 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
- 5-6 slices of lemon, thinly sliced
- 3 TBSP. butter
- 6 med. cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1-1½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- --- pinch of red pepper flakes
- --- zest of one large lemon
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3-4 TBSP. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- --- pasta cooking water
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for about 7 minutes, or until “al dente”.
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil and then add the lemon slices. Sauté until golden brown on both sides and then remove from the skillet and reserve. To the skillet, add the butter and then the minced garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the shrimp, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Next, add the lemon zest, fresh parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well to combine and turn off the heat.
- When the spaghetti is done, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and drain.
- Transfer the drained spaghetti back into the pot and add the shrimp and sauce. Mix gently. Taste and if necessary, adjust the seasoning. The lemon-garlic sauce will be absorbed by the pasta, if you want to loosen it up a bit, you can add some of the hot cooking water.
- Serve on warmed plates, and top with the sautéed lemon slices.
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