Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta


  • 8 oz pasta (linguine or spaghetti)
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Italian extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese (to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. Season the shrimp: Season the shrimp with a bit of salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set them aside.
  3. Make the sauce: In the same skillet, add the remaining EVOO. Add the minced garlic, shallots, capers, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic and shallots become aromatic.
  4. Add lemon zest and juice: Stir in the zest and juice of the lemon. This will add a bright and tangy flavor to the sauce.
  5. Combine the pasta and sauce: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it in the sauce. If the pasta seems a bit dry, you can add some of the reserved pasta water to create a silky sauce that coats the pasta.
  6. Reincorporate the shrimp: Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet to heat through and infuse them with the flavors of the sauce.
  7. Adjust seasoning: Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper as needed. You can also adjust the level of red pepper flakes to your preferred level of spiciness.
  8. Serve: Serve the Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a generous sprinkle of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Here are some additional tips and variations for your Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta:


  • Veggies: You can add some sautéed spinach, cherry tomatoes, or asparagus to add more color and nutrients to the dish.
  • Protein: If you’re not a fan of shrimp, you can use chicken or even tofu as a protein alternative. Cook them in a similar manner as the shrimp.
  • Creamy Version: If you prefer a creamy sauce, you can add a bit of heavy cream or half-and-half to the sauce after sautéing the garlic and shallots. Simmer it for a few minutes until it thickens.
  • Linguine with Clams: Swap out the shrimp for fresh clams to make a delicious linguine with clam sauce.


  • Pasta Water: When you reserve pasta water, it’s a handy tool to adjust the sauce’s consistency. It contains starch that can help thicken the sauce and make it cling to the pasta better.
  • Garlic and Shallots: Be careful not to brown the garlic and shallots when sautéing them. Browning can make them taste bitter. Cook just until they’re fragrant.
  • Fresh Parsley: Fresh herbs like parsley are best added towards the end of cooking to maintain their fresh flavor.
  • Serving: For an extra touch, you can serve the dish with additional lemon wedges and extra Pecorino Romano cheese on the side, allowing diners to adjust the flavors to their liking.
  • Wine Pairing: A crisp white wine, like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, complements this dish wonderfully.

here are a few more tips and suggestions for your Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta:


  • To enhance the visual appeal, consider garnishing your dish with some extra lemon zest and a sprig of fresh parsley just before serving.

Additional Flavors:

  • If you love the combination of lemon and herbs, consider adding a pinch of fresh thyme or oregano to the sauce for added depth of flavor.

Spice Level:

  • Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your preferred level of spiciness. If you enjoy a milder dish, use less; if you like it spicier, add more.


  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat it in a skillet with a touch of olive oil or a splash of chicken or vegetable broth to prevent it from drying out.

Side Salad:

  • Pair your Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta with a simple side salad or some garlic bread for a complete meal.

Fresh Ingredients:

  • Whenever possible, use fresh, high-quality ingredients. The difference in flavor is noticeable, especially with ingredients like extra-virgin olive oil, Pecorino Romano cheese, and fresh herbs.

Family and Friends:

  • This dish is perfect for sharing with family and friends. Consider doubling or tripling the recipe for a gathering.


  • Cooking is an art, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the recipe and make it your own. You can add ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, or even a splash of white wine for a different twist.

Now you have all the tools to make this Lemon Pepper Shrimp Pasta even more delicious and tailored to your taste. Enjoy your culinary adventure! 🍤🍝🍋🧀🌿😋

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