Have you tried them?
They are magical bites of crispy, salty, briny goodness.
And they make pasta amazing.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!