Lemon Spaghetti + Shrimp

Lemon Spaghetti + Shrimp

Delicious and extremely simple dish, as I could eat this dish over and over and without shrimp. I would definitely make this again as a side dish with some chicken or even sausage. The fried capers elevated the overall texture of the dish, as well as the taste amongst the lemony flavors. As soon as I tasted this dish from Gia De Larentiis, I knew this was rising up to be one of the top dishes. 

Recipe was published in Food & Wine, May 2014. 6 servings.


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup capers - rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Salt and 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 brown 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 tbsp of olive oil until shimmering. Season 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 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.