For the Pasta:
- 1 pound spaghetti (linguine or any other long, thin pasta shape you have on hand)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan (Romano cheese, OR a mix)
For the Shrimp:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 pound shrimp (I used raw jumbo Black Tiger)
- salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine (OR water)
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- baby greens, lemon zest, chili flakes, fried garlic…
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Right before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water!! Drain the rest.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in the same pan as cooking the garlic (no need to clean it) over medium-high heat. Add the 2 cloves minced garlic and cook until fragrant, around 30-60 seconds.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to the garlic in the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side.
- Add the other 1/2 tablespoon butter and the white wine. Cook, tossing from time to time, until shrimp has cooked through (do not overcook!).
- Take off the heat, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and set aside on a warmed plate tented with aluminum foil.
- Melt 1 more tablespoons butter in the same pan (again, please don’t clean it!). Add the pepper and cook 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add half of the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Toss in the cooked pasta and 1 more tablespoon butter until melted.
- Reduce the heat to low and toss in the cheese until melted. Toss in baby greens (if using), adding more pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.
- Serve the pasta topped with shrimp, lemon zest, chili flakes and fried garlic, if you like.
- Make sure to use LOW heat when adding the cheese, otherwise the sauce could split.
- to make fried garlic, slice 4 cloves garlic very thinly and brown them over medium-high heat in a little oil in a single layer in a skillet for 30 seconds per side. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper, then serve over the pasta.
- If you don’t want to use shrimp, you can also use diced chicken breast instead.
- If you accidentally forget to save your 1 cup of pasta cooking water when you drain the spaghetti, try using half and half and some extra salt instead. It will be even creamier!