Right now, happiness is a bowl of pasta. A bowl of al dente pasta and tender, meaty shrimp swimming in a spicy garlic sauce with loads of fresh cilantro to be exact, perfect for getting weeknight dinner on the table fast.
I may have mentioned that work has been super busy lately. It’s time-saving meals like this one that keep me from grabbing my wallet and ordering takeout when I get home from the office and all I want to do is lounge in my sweatpants (ahhh, happy pants). Sweatpants and pasta really do go so well together.
Best of all, most of the things needed to pull this recipe together I keep stocked in my pantry >> lemon, garlic, pasta, olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper. The only thing I needed to pick up at the store was a the shrimp. There’s really nothing more useful for quick and easy meal prep than a well-stocked pantry. Mine may not be the most organized, but what it lacks in visual appeal it makes up for in variety. Whenever I’m at a loss for what to make for dinner, I typically round up some type of pasta or grain, a few ingredients to make a quick sauce, and whatever veggies and protein we have on hand, to make a quick meal.
And I’m a pretty big fan of the “two-thirds rule” — whenever something that I use often is 2/3 gone, I pick up some more at the store on my next shopping trip. This may be TMI into my food shopping habits, but we’re close like that, right?
Now back to what we’re really here for — SHRIMP!!
All of the shrimps. 🙂
Let me count the ways that I love this dish:
- The sauce is perfect for sopping up with some crusty bread.
- Shrimp is a really great and inexpensive protein option, especially when you’re tired of eating chicken all the time (hello, that’s me!).
- Use fresh or frozen shrimp. Typically, the fresher the better! But sometimes you just can get your hands on fresh shrimp, and sometimes the frozen package is actually better. Just be sure to check the ingredients — the fewer the better.
- You can switch up the pasta for rice, quinoa, or really whatever grain you love – just spoon the cooked shrimp, and maybe an extra squeeze of lime, and you’ve got a light, whole grain, high protein and fiber meal.
- Did I mention that it’s super quick to make? Just 15 minutes from start to twirling forkfuls of lemony, garlicky, spicy pasta and shrimp.
With each bite, I’m in garlicky, lemony, spicy seafood heaven. It’s simple, fresh flavors at their finest. Seafood rarely makes an appearance in my kitchen, and this is making me want to change that fact.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- ¼ cup stock (fish, veggie, chicken)
- 1 lb shrimp, without shell (thawed if using frozen)
- Juice of 1 whole lemon
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro (or parsley)
- ½ pound spaghetti or linguini
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute, stirring constantly, until fragrant -- about 1 minute. Add the stock and bring back to a simmer. Add the shrimp and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pink and cooked through -- about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and cilantro, stirring to combine.
- Toss with the cooked pasta and serve topped with more lemon juice and cilantro if desired.