I’m a pasta girl. I always have been.
I am legitimately half Italian, so I guess I come by it honestly. But, truly, if I didn’t think my husband would object, I’d have absolutely no problem eating pasta for dinner every single night.
And, this particular pasta?
It’s rich and filling from the cream sauce yet bright and fresh from the lemon. The shrimp and vegetables add pops of color and flavor and keep it from seeming too heavy. (See, I had spinach with my heavy cream. Antioxidants! Iron!).
Oh, and did I mention it’s easy? If you prep a little bit ahead of time – zest and juice the lemons and chop the vegetables, you can totally cook this baby in about 25 minutes flat.
- 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb shrimp (31/35 count), peeled & deveined
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 lb. penne (or any short pasta)
- ½ cup halved grape tomatoes
- 4 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- In a large (12”) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan. Sear the first side for 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side until they are cooked through. Remove the cooked shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the remaining olive oil. Cook for one minute.
- Add the cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water with a handful of kosher salt to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and put back in the pot.
- Add the thickened lemon cream sauce to the pasta in the pot. Add tomatoes, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Stir together to coat with the sauce. Let the mixture cook on low for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is mostly absorbed into the pasta, and it coats the other ingredients.
- Turn off the heat, add the basil, and stir to combine.
- Serve hot with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.
Adapted from Ina Garten.