Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. | ericajulson.com

Fried capers.

Have you tried them?

They are magical bites of crispy, salty, briny goodness.

And they make pasta amazing.

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. | ericajulson.com

Especially simple pastas.

Like this spaghetti with lemon-parmesan sauce & pan seared shrimp.

The flavors of this dish, overall, are pretty basic:

  • Tart lemon
  • Salty and savory Parmesan cheese
  • Lusciously smooth & fruity olive oil
  • Buttery & slightly sweet shrimp
  • Fresh and vibrant basil

On their own, this combination of ingredients is pretty solid.

But, sprinkle a few crispy crunchy fried capers on top, and oooo baby, now your dish is SPECIAL.

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp | Quick, pescatarian pasta dish, with creamy noodles, shrimp, and fresh basil. | ericajulson.com

This meal comes together in a snap.

Simply sauté some shallot, and cook the shrimp in the same pan, with a splash of white wine.

When the shrimp is just done cooking, add a pound of cooked spaghetti to the pan, with a little reserved pasta water. Pour in an easy sauce made from olive oil, parmesan, and lemon, and toss in a small handful of basil.

Stir until the noodles and shrimp are coated with a creamy, cheesy, lemony sauce and serve garnished with fresh basil and fried capers.YUM!!!

Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Shrimp
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • Generous pour of organic canola oil for frying
  • 1 4-oz jar capers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup sauvignon blanc white wine
  • 1 cup freshly chopped basil
  • Maldon sea salt, for serving
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving
Instructions
  1. Fill a small skillet with about 1/4 cup canola oil. Warm over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the capers (make sure they are well dried, or they will splatter in the oil) and fry for about 3-5 minutes, or until the capers are puffed open, darkened, and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried capers to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions, until al dente. When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 3/4 cup of pasta water before draining, then drain the pasta and set aside.

  3. While the pasta cooks, add the 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a medium bowl & whisk until combined. Set aside for later.

  4. When the pasta is done cooking, add the shallot and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and cook for just 1 or 2 minutes over medium heat until softened. 

  5. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to the nonstick skillet containing the shallot. Increase the heat to medium-high, and let cook for about 2 minutes on the first side. Flip the shrimp, and add the wine to the skillet, letting it cook off while the shrimp cook on the second side, about another 2 minutes. 

  6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta, lemon-olive oil-parmesan mixture, 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, and 1/2 cup of the fresh basil. Cook, tossing the pasta with the shrimp and sauce, until well combined. Let cook for a minute or two more, as needed, until the sauce has thickened slightly and coated the noodles. Add more reserved pasta water if the mixture is too dry. 

  7. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat and transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 of the fried capers, 1/4 of the remaining fresh basil, and season with Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

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