Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp and Fried Capers

This dish is a staple in our home and to really lighten it up we typically use a little less pasta and more shrimp!  It is quick, packed with bright, fresh flavors and could even be served cold as a Summer salad.

¼ cup vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup capers, drained and patted dry

1 lb. Spaghetti

2/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice (2 large lemons)

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

1lb. large shrimp, shelled & deveined

Salt and pepper

½ cup fresh basil, chopped-plus more for garnish

In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the capers and using a splatter guard, fry over moderately high heat, stirring until browned and crisp, approximately 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to paper towels to drain.

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

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente (slightly undercooked).  Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet with the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just opaque, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the pasta, lemon sauce, half the reserved cooking water and the ½ cup of basil.  Cook, tossing until the pasta and shrimp are coated, 2 minutes, adding more reserved water if spaghetti is dry; transfer to shallow pasta bowls, garnish with basil and the fried capers.

Serves 4

Wine Pairing

2014 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco – Alto Adige, Italy 

This is an elegant white wine with a light medium-lemon color. The wine offers aromas of white flowers, lemon-lime citrus, and hints of green apples and pears. On the palate, the wine’s subtle, creamy texture is countered by refreshing acidity and minerality making it the perfect compliment to flaky white fish, light seafood, chicken and soft cheeses.

What is Pinot Bianco? 

Most know what Pinot Grigio is, right? Well, Pinot Bianco is just a clone of the famous Italian white grape. Pinot Blanc & Pinot Bianco are two names for the same grape but they produce strikingly different wines. Blanc refers to grapes grown in France (also the U.S.), and Bianco comes from Italy. 

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