The Life of the Party

Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta


Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta

Capture the Coast, pg . 78

Weeknight meals can be a challenge in our house.  With two kids running around and jobs and volunteer commitments to juggle it’s a major accomplishment to get ANYTHING on the table.  We have our staple meals and takeout places, but I do like to mix it up occasionally and I was feeling adventurous this week.

I’m always looking for something that can be prepped in advance and is easy to finish and when I saw this Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta dish, I knew we had to try it! The recipe is very adaptable according to your taste and was a huge hit in our house. The kids even enjoyed the pasta by itself!

Cajun Seasoning:

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Combine all of the seasonings together in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure lid and shake well. *I used a small mason jar for this step.

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

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients with the Cajun seasoning.  Peel and devein shrimp and rinse and pat dry.  In a 9×13 inch dish, combine the shrimp with the marinade and toss to coat.  Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.

When you are ready for dinner, preheat the over to 450 degrees. Discard the garlic clove from the dish and bake the shrimp for 7 to 10 minutes until pink, stirring occasionally.

Lemon Pasta:

½ cup olive oil

2/3 cup grated parmesan

juice of 2 lemons

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 lb spaghetti or penne

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

zest of two lemons

Whisk the olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving a ½ cup of the cooking water. Combine the pasta and the sauce and add the lemon zest and basil, toss to coat. Add reserved water a tablespoon at a time, as needed (I didn’t need to add any).  Top with the shrimp and serve.

Cooks notes:

  • We don’t care for parsley so I skipped that ingredient in the marinade.
  • You can use whatever pasta you want in this recipe! I only had gluten free penne in my pantry and it was delicious.
  • The recipe suggests that you can use parsley instead of basil in the pasta and also can add capers. I took them up on the latter part and we weren’t disappointed!

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