Lemon Garlic Caper Pasta

I LOVE pasta. It has so many endless pastabilities (yes, I just went there). No matter the recipe, it never lets you down and is the perfect canvas for multiple flavors.

Recently, I made my weekly shopping trip to my local Lidl and stumbled upon the most beautiful black tiger shrimp. The moment I saw the shrimp, I knew I had to cook with them.

Fast forward to cooking. When I was contemplating dinner, I knew I wanted something with light flavors to match the beautiful spring weather in Georgia — that is minus the yellow dust known as pollen. Since I am always one to crave all things carbs, I decided lemon garlic pasta with fresh herbs and fried capers would really hit the spot. Let me tell you, fried capers are a GAME CHANGER to not only this dish, but SO many others. These tiny, salty and delicious balls of flavor are done in no time and completely transform the pasta. If you’re always looking for fresh, delicious and time-saving meals, then look no further than this lemony goodness in the form of pasta!

IMG_2197.jpg
IMG_2199.jpg

Ingredients

1 lb. linguine pasta, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, juice and zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 pinches chili flakes
12 oz. bag tiger shrimp, other varieties work too (raw is better) devein and peel
1/4 cup oil, for frying
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese (optional), for topping
salt/pepper


Begin by filling a large pot with, generously salt and bring to a boil. As you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop all necessary ingredients needed and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the pasta, cook the pasta to package directions in the pot of salted water. While the water boils and pasta cooks, heat the butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 45-60 seconds, or until the garlic is slightly golden. Add the chili flakes and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Next, add the lemon juice and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Once the pasta is cooked, add to the skillet along with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water (you can use more if the sauce seems thin and is not coating the noodles). Stir and continue to cook until the liquid thickens and sticks to the noodles, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Season the pasta with half of the lemon zest, additional salt and half of the parsley. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, set aside.

While the pasta cooks, season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and other half of the lemon zest. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or just until cooked through. Note: the shrimp will continue to cook once removed from the oven, so avoid overcooking.

Last, but not least, it is time to fry the capers! Simply place the 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan at medium heat. Once heated to 350 degrees, place the capers in the oil and fry for 30 seconds — just enough to make crisp and get slightly golden. Remove the capers from the pot and let drain.

Now, it is time to plate. Place the noodles on your preferred serving dish. Top with the remaining parsley, parmesan cheese, fried capers and additional chili flakes (optional). Now, it is time to dig in and enjoy carb overload!

Elizabeth Canas