This Garlic Shrimp Pasta is an easy and quick dish for the weekday menu that comes to together in 15 minutes with buttery garlic taste!
Garlic Shrimp Pasta is an easy and quick pasta dish for the weekday menu. Savory, succulent shrimp sizzling in a garlic butter sauce paired with light and airy spaghetti. It’s a family favorite that I can usually whip up in 15 minutes.
How to make garlic shrimp spaghetti
- Cook the shrimp with salt and red pepper flakes in butter until cooked through.
- Flip the shrimp to the other side to finish cooking, then remove the shrimp and set aside.
- Cook the remaining garlic and butter in the same skillet, along with the lemon juice, pasta water (reserved from cooking the pasta) and parmesan cheese. Use a whisk to combine the sauce and scrape up any bits from the shrimp.
- Add in the cooked spaghetti on top of the sauce.
- Toss to combine until the sauce coats the spaghetti well.
- Return the shrimp to the skillet, and garnish with parsley before serving.
Tips for making the recipe
- Cook the pasta al-dente. That’s because you’ll be tossing it with the sauce and shrimp for a couple minutes after it’s done cooking and you want to make sure it doesn’t get too soggy.
- Thaw and dry frozen shrimp before cooking. I prefer to buy frozen shrimp, so after I thaw it, I always make sure to dab it dry so the excess moisture doesn’t affect searing the shrimp properly.
- Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. They only require a few minutes of cooking and if you over cook them they will get chewy. Cook until they are opaque pink in color.
- Use milk instead of pasta water for a more creamy texture. I prefer keeping it light with the lemon juice and pasta water because the garlic and butter give it great flavor. But milk is a great option as well!
Frequently asked questions
What kind of pasta can you use in this dish?
I like making this dish with long pasta such as spaghetti or linguini, but you can use whatever you have to hand. Penne and shells would both work well. Use a whole grain pasta for extra fiber and to lower the calorie content.
What do you serve with shrimp pasta?
How long does shrimp pasta last?
This pasta is best served straight out of the pan. If you have any leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy the next day.
This garlic shrimp with spaghetti is such a great recipe for a quick and easy weeknight meal. It’s family friendly and packed full of flavor!
The History of Pasta
Pasta’s history can be traced through many cultures and continents, from Asia to Africa to the Middle East, reaching back at least 3500 years. Despite its many forms and the countless texts in which it has appeared, pasta seems to be universally associated with Italy. According to history, however, pasta’s earliest roots begin in China, during the Shang Dynasty (1700-1100 BC), where some form of pasta was made with either wheat or rice flour. Pasta also appears to be a feature in the ancient Greek diet in the first millennium BC. Likewise, Africa had its own form of pasta made with the kamut crop.
As early as the fourth century BC, the story of pasta takes shape in Italy. There is archeological evidence for the existence of pasta in the Etruscan civilization, which flourished in the regions we now call Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany. A bas-relief unearthed in an Etruscan tomb depicts tools and kitchen utensils used to roll and form pasta very similar to those still in use today. A lucky find for anthropology, but a sad blow to the legend of Marco Polo, which claims he was the one who introduced pasta to Europe after his adventures in the Far East. He may have brought some unusual noodles back with him, but it was certainly not the first time Italians had ever seen such food.
Like much of Italian culture, pasta as a culinary art form flourished during the Renaissance. By the 14th century, pasta had become a staple in Rome and Florence. In later centuries, as it became available in dried forms and sold in shops, pasta grew more and more popular, until by the 19th century, it achieved a presence and stature in Italian cuisine that continues to evolve to the present day. The extraordinary variety and sophistication of pasta dishes now – from Bucatini alla Amatriciana to Linguine al Pesto are part of a century-long evolution. Though Italians cannot claim to have invented pasta, it’s clear they took to the creation with an unparalleled joy, passion and inventiveness, developing an entire culture and cuisine around it, which is now recognized worldwide.
Pasta Today: Wheat and Water
Pasta is simple, really. The traditional Italian pasta we know and love today is made with semolina, or coarsely ground wheat flour. Like all great Italian foods, it’s made of few simple ingredients. So then, what does it take to make great pasta? The difference is in the quality of the ingredients and how the pasta is made.
Wheat is crucial in the pasta making process. DeLallo Pasta is made with hard durum wheat—a top-quality wheat with a super high gluten content. This gluten content is what gives pasta its desirable al dente texture. That is, a firm but tender bite. Along with the quality of wheat, the texture of the semolina matters too. At DeLallo, we expertly mill our grains for the perfect coarse grind, lending to the texture of the finished pasta.
Bronze vs. Teflon. With the demand for pasta growing exponentially over the years, the artisanal approach to pasta-making has been lost to faster, unflattering methods. Traditionally, pasta is formed by extruding dough through bronze dies, or bronze plates. This gives pasta a rough surface texture ideal for capturing and absorbing sauces. These days, most pasta makers use Teflon to extrude pasta. While extruding dough through Teflon is a faster process, it leaves pasta smooth and shiny with no surface for sauces to stick to. At DeLallo, we believe in preserving the artisanal processes that have made Italian pasta great. We use bronze dies to extrude our pasta, giving it that signature sauce-hugging texture.
How a pasta dries matters to the final product. True to tradition, DeLallo dries pasta slowly at low temperatures. This method allows pasta to retain its nutrients, flavor and texture. Though quick drying methods are faster, much of the pasta’s goodness is cooked out of it before it ever reaches the package.
Cuts and Sauces
Pasta comes in so many forms, shapes and textures—over 500 cuts in Italy, just to give you an idea. From the tiny barely-shaped pastina, Orzo, to the classic tube-like Rigatoni, there is a rhyme and reason for each shape. In Italy, choosing a particular cut of pasta usually depends on the sauce. For instance, scoop-like shapes are better than others at capturing chunky sauces and small ingredients, while thinner, more delicate shapes are best for oil-based and light tomato sauces.
We bet you’re hungry after all that pasta talk, so we wanted to give you a little inspiration for your next pasta night.
More pasta recipes:
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- 8 ounces spaghetti or pasta of choice
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled deveined
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- n a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package instructions; drain well and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt two tablespoons butter. Add shrimp, salt and crushed red pepper, and cook stirring occasionally, until shrimp is opaque pink, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining butter and garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the lemon juice, pasta water and parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Transfer the spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the sauce.
- Add the shrimp on top and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
- To make it gluten-free, you can use any gluten-free pasta of your choice.
To make the sauce more creamy, you can add some milk instead of some of the water