Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, Mint and Pecorino


Roman chef Angelo Troiani riffs on the classic spaghetti ajo, ojo e peperoncino (garlic, oil and chile), embellishing it with shrimp, lemon, pecorino, almond and mint. It's simple, delicious and crowd-pleasing.

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Lemon, Mint and Pecorino
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
30 mins


  • ½ cup sliced almonds

  • ½ pound spaghetti

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves (halved)

  • ¾ pound shrimp (medium shelled, deveined and halved lengthwise)

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (plus fresh lemon juice finely grated)

  • ¼ cup mint (plus small leaves for garnish chopped)

  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (3 ounces freshly grated)

  • 1 Fresno chile (thinly sliced)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the almonds in a cake pan and toast until golden, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

  2. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes; discard the garlic. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook, turning, until the shrimp are almost white throughout, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the pasta, pasta water, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped mint, 2/3 cup of the cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook, stirring, until saucy, about 2 minutes; season with salt. Transfer the pasta to bowls, garnish with the toasted almonds, mint leaves, chile and remaining cheese and serve.

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