Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp


Fried capers add a crisp, pungent hit to De Laurentiis's lovely seafood pasta. The sauce that coats the spaghetti is a simple mix of olive oil, Parmesan and lemon. Slideshow:  Seafood Pasta Recipes 

Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
45 mins


  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)

  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish


  1. In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the capers and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to paper towels to drain.

  2. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 2/3 cup of the olive oil with the grated cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice.

  4. In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just opaque, 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the pasta, lemon sauce, half of the reserved pasta water and the 1/2 cup of basil. Cook, tossing, until the pasta and shrimp are coated, 2 minutes, adding more of the pasta water if the spaghetti is dry; transfer to shallow bowls, garnish with basil and the fried capers and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Sicily is known for its citrus, capers and seafood, and this pasta incorporates all three, making it an excellent match for a bright Sicilian white wine.

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