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 Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 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

  • 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!

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