Cajun Shrimp & Lemon Pasta

By Erin Greco

This is a fantastic recipe for a flavorful pasta dish! The shrimp have a slightly spicy kick to them and the pasta incorporates a twist of juicy lemons and parmesan. I love that this meal is so easy to make and basically includes everything you need for a fabulous supper. All you have left to do is add a vegetable for a side.

If you are looking for a dish to serve at your next dinner party, this is it! I’ve made it in the past when we’ve had another couple over and it serves plenty, with extra left over. However, if you are only cooking for two, like I did last night, cut this recipe in half and it’s the perfect amount!

I love to find recipes where you can prepare part of the meal ahead of time. This is one of those recipes for me! I marinated the shrimp in the morning so that they had time to soak up the flavors throughout the day. I also prepared the lemon pasta sauce ahead of time. In the evening, all I had left to do was bake the shrimp and boil the pasta. Mix everything together and Bon Appetit!

Cajun Shrimp & Lemon Pasta (Capture the Coast p. 78)

Cajun Seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoons dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Spicy Shrimp

½ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 pound large shrimp
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lemon Pasta

½ cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 2 lemons
¾ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti or penne
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
Zest of 2 lemons

For the seasoning, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, thyme, oregano and cayenne pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Secure the lid and shake to mix well.
For the shrimp, whisk the olive oil, whole garlic clove, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, parsley, brown sugar and soy sauce in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Peel the shrimp and devein. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Add to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Discard the garlic clove from the shrimp. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

For the pasta, whisk the olive oil, cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cook the pasta using the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the lemon sauce. Add the basil and lemon zest and toss to coat, adding the reserved pasta water a few tablespoons at a time if needed for the desired consistency. Top with the shrimp and serve. You may substitute parsley for the basil and add 2 tablespoons capers. Yield: 4 servings


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