prep time: 15 min | cook time: 15 min
- Shrimp: You can either buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined or do it yourself (it’s not as hard as it seems I promise). For this recipe I like using medium shrimp, labeled somewhere around 35/40 per pound.
makes 4 servings
- 8 oz capellini (angel hair) pasta
- 1 lb shrimp (see Note 1 above)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, for cooking shrimp
- 1 lemon
- Parmesan cheese, however much you prefer to top pasta
- Crushed red pepper
- Basil, optional
- Gather a pot for boiling pasta, a saute pan, and a heat-safe cup set aside for reserving pasta water – it’s easiest if you have a glass liquid measuring cup with a handle (like the Pyrex ones).
- Peel and devein shrimp. Lightly salt the shrimp and set aside.
- Peel and mince garlic.
- Grate Parmesan ahead of time if you’d like to save effort when finishing the pasta. Otherwise you can grate directly over your pasta as desired.
- Wedge lemon into quarters to prepare for juicing. De-seed each quarter by slicing off the edge along the pith (white spongy part of the lemon); once you slide off the edge of the wedges, the seeds will come out pretty easily. Set the quarters aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Angel hair pasta cooks quickly, so I drop the pasta in as the shrimp are close to done so they finish around the same time, but plan to cook it accordingly however you’d like. Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente – it will cook a bit more in the pan later. Before draining, reserve some pasta water to use in the sauce; I don’t measure out exact amounts but just reserve a cupful of water to the side.
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, until shrimp turn pink and opaque, flipping halfway through.
- Remove shrimp from heat and set aside.
- Turn heat to low. Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter and squeeze 3 of the lemon wedges in the pan (save the last lemon wedge for finishing). Mix sauce well and add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add shrimp and pasta. Toss until everything is well incorporated.
- Slowly add in reserved pasta water bit by bit while tossing until the pasta develops a consistency you like – it should loosen up the pasta and give it a more sauce-like texture but not drown it in liquid. If you accidentally add too much water, just let the water cook out for a bit longer.
- Salt to taste.
- Squeeze the last lemon wedge over your pasta to finish.
- Top with parmesan and basil to your liking.