I absolutely love Spring and all the fresh produce and herbs that come along with it. I saw Giada make this pasta dish on tv and I just had to try it. It looked so simple with just a few ingredients but looked delicious. She adds in lemon zest so I knew it would have a fresh lemony flavor which got my mouth watering. She then adds in fried capers. I’ve never had fried capers and was actually going to skip that part but I had a jar so I thought I would try it. Oh…my….goodness! They added so much flavor and were a fun little crunchy addition so don’t skip that part! And if you can, make your own pasta. You can not get the same fresh pasta texture and flavor with boxed pasta. It’s so easy to do especially if you have a pasta attachment to a stand mixer. Okay…lets get cookin!
For the shrimp-
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- About 30 shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and patted dry
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
For the pasta-
- 1 pound of your favorite pasta
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fried capers
In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. In a single layer, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until pink and cooked through. (shrimp does not take long to cook and will get too chewy if over cooked so no longer than 6 minutes) Set aside.
To fry the capers, drain, rinse, and dry them well. Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers when you swirl it. Make sure the oil is hot enough by adding in one caper. If it immediately starts to sizzle and pop, the oil is hot enough. Add the capers to the hot oil and fry for about 15 seconds or until they have popped open and are golden brown and crispy. Then set aside.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. If you are cooking homemade pasta, it cooks a lot faster so just cook about 3-4 minutes. If boxed pasta, then about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Drain pasta but reserve 1 cup of the water. Add the pasta, shrimp, and basil to the lemon sauce and toss. Add 1/4 cup at a time of the pasta water to moisten if needed. Garnish with lemon zest and fried capers.
Yum yum yum….enjoy!