Linguine with Shrimp and Caramelized Lemons
This recipe started out in the New York Times. It was published in a column by Melissa Clark, the Times terrific food writer. I made it a couple of times and liked what I tasted, but decided, as I often do, that it needed a boost to suit my palate. The original recipe didn’t include shrimp, and you can make it without the shrimp, but I like the added protein. Try it with scallops, or with chicken, grilled first and then shredded.
- 4 lemons
- 1/2 pound linguine (for this recipe I don’t use whole-wheat pasta, but rather regular semolina linguine.)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1 pound medium shrimp (36-41), peeled and deveined
- ⅔ cup Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoons capers
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Finely zest 2 of the lemons and set aside. Trim the tops and bottoms off the other 2 lemons and cut lengthwise into quarters; remove seeds. Thinly slice the quarters crosswise into triangles. Blanch the lemon pieces in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a dish towel. Blot dry.
- In the boiling water, add pasta and cook until just barely al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the dried lemon pieces and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cook, stirring constantly until the lemons are caramelized and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Melt the butter with the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and lemon zest, and cook until fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they just begin to turn pink. Whisk in the reserved pasta water.
- Lower the heat an toss in pasta, juice of 1 lemon, cheese, pepper and the remaining salt. Cook until pasta is well coated with sauce. Add the caramelized lemon, capers, and the celery leaves and parsley. Taste and add sugar, salt, or pepper, to your taste preference. Serve, topped with a drizzle of oil, more cheese if you like, and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.