Let’s take a trip. Don’t worry, it’s not a long one, and you don’t need to bring much, just a little imagination. We’re going back in time. Autumn 2013.
New to the city, with no friends and few acquaintances, I found myself standing alone at a dinner party. The large, semi-detached, dwelling was home to some newly made acquaintances.
Inside, a large, wooden dining table was laden with all kinds of foods – a glorious mishmash of international cuisines (perhaps unsurprisingly, the countries most represented by the food on display were Italy and India). And hidden amongst three large dishes of pasta (not to mention many other dishes, some even in ornate bowls), was a large, plastic container, filled to the brim with my Lemon Fettuccine, hastily prepared in the wake of the knowledge that the dinner, which I had only been invited to earlier that day, was in fact a potluck.
Fast forward a couple of hours into the evening, I stood nursing a tall glass of Pepsi, while talking to dapper looking gentleman about the future of the Canadian housing market, when I began to hear whispers about the “pasta in the plastic box”. It took a moment to sink in but when it did, I realised that they were talking about my pasta. I rushed back to the dining room to see what was wrong with it. I couldn’t find it. Someone had removed it. It was THAT bad.
“Oh! Riz! I’ve been looking for you!” It was K, the evening’s hostess. She was standing behind me, one foot in the dining room, the other in the kitchen. “I loved your pasta! It was such a hit with everyone that I’ve just taken it back into the kitchen…. Don’t tell anyone, I want to save a little bit for my son’s lunch tomorrow.” (←Oops, sorry K!).
The rest of the evening involved me being introduced to people interested in the recipe, each one more surprised than the last when I told them how quick and simple it was to make.
The dish that night was just pasta without any protein or vegetable added. Since then, I’ve prepared the dish several times, repeatedly refining it (I took tips from and was inspired by Jamie Oliver and Gennaro’s Lemon & Basil Fettuccine dish in 2014).
- 600g Fettuccine
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 100g Baby Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Large Lemon (zest whole lemon, use only half the juice)
- 1 Clove Garlic, diced
- 500g Shrimps, peeled/tails removed
- 1 cup Peas
- Paprika, for seasoning
- Basil, for seasoning
- Salt, for seasoning
- Black Pepper, for seasoning
First, season the shrimps with paprika, salt, and pepper. Let sit.
Season boiling water with salt, and add the fettuccine to cook. Season with basil. Remove and drain once al dente – that is, only slightly soft/when the white of the pasta centre disappears (about 10-13 minutes with standard pasta). Boil the peas, and mix them into the pasta once cooked (want to take a cheat step? Drop the peas straight into your pot of cooking pasta – they don’t take as long to cook. Less clean-up = Winning at life.)
While the fettuccine cooks, toss the diced garlic into a saucepan with ½ tbsp olive oil. Cook on a medium heat. Add the seasoned shrimps. Cook through, and mix into the drained fettuccine.
Last thing to prepare is the Lemon and Parmesan dressing. Pour a good amount (about 3½ tbsp) of olive oil into a saucepan over very low heat with the zest and juice of one whole lemon. Grate the parmesan into the mixture. Mix together as the parmesan melts.
Combine everything over a low heat for a minute or two allowing the pasta to absorb flavour. And it’s ready to eat!
Personally, I like lightly drizzling some olive oil over the pasta, and then grating more parmesan (it looks likes little snowflakes!) on to it once it’s plated. There’s also a great option of adding thin slices of asparagus to the meal – I’ve tried it, it tastes great. I highly recommend it, I just forgot to buy asparagus during my last grocery run!
This Lemon Fettuccine with Garlic Shrimps recipe has a light, fresh taste to it. It’s easy to cook, and works great for lunch or dinner. Give it a try and let me know what you think!