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Easy Garlic Shrimp with Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner. Sauteed shrimp, onions, bell pepper, and pasta are perfectly flavored with a simple lemony garlic sauce.
You’re going to love this easy Garlic Shrimp Pasta – especially if you are a fan of shrimp and garlic!
An entire head of fresh garlic is used in this recipe! But don’t worry – the flavor isn’t overpowering at all.
Some of the garlic is used to marinate the shrimp, some is transformed into a garlic flavored oil that is used to cook the vegetables and shrimp. And, some of the garlic is chopped and added to the finished dish.
The results? Super tender, perfectly sauteed shrimp combined with pasta, onions, and bell peppers – all tossed with a lemony garlic wine sauce that is light and very flavorful!
Why You’ll Love Garlic Shrimp with Fusilli
- The fresh, lemon-garlic flavor in every bite is delectable!
- It’s easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but guests at a special dinner party will love this dish too!
- This is one of the best ways to cook shrimp – and you can even use the marinade and cooking method in recipes other than pasta.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shrimp – Buy raw shell-on, de-veined, 16-20 per-pound shrimp. Typically, these come in one pound and two-pound frozen bags. Once thawed, about a quarter of the weight is lost between the shells and the water. A two-pound bag will yield about 1 ½ pounds of shrimp once cleaned.
- Garlic – Almost an entire head is used in this dish. Some is used to flavor the oil, some is used to marinate the shrimp, and some is used in the actual cooking process.
- Vegetables – Sweet onion and sweet yellow bell peppers are used.
- Olive oil – A good quality extra virgin olive oil should be used
- Fusilli Pasta – We chose fusilli-shaped pasta because the swirls in each noodle are the perfect vessel for holding the delicious sauce. But, just about any pasta type such as farfalle, penne, cellentani can be substituted.
- Other ingredients – Lemon zest and juice, white wine, butter, flour, chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and pepper flakes finish the flavor profile.
Special supplies needed
- Large wok with high sides
- Pot to cook the pasta
Chef’s Tip – Shrimp can easily overcook so make sure to pay close attention to the cooking process and times.
How do I make Garlic Shrimp with Pasta?
- Marinate the shrimp while you start preparing the rest of the dish.
- Flavor the oil with smashed garlic cloves.
- Cook the peppers and onions in the flavored oil. Set aside.
- Cook the garlic and pepper flakes with the shrimp in the flavored oil, then set that aside too.
- Make a sauce by melting butter, adding flour, deglazing with white wine, then finishing with chicken stock, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Partially cook the pasta – you can start this while the earlier steps are happening.
- Assemble the dish by combining the sauce with the partially cooked pasta, the cooked onions, peppers and shrimp then adding pasta water, butter, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
- Simmer until the pasta is fully cooked.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make Garlic Shrimp with Fusilli ahead of time? You can do some of the vegetable prep and measuring out of ingredients, but ideally this dish should be prepared and served in one continuous session.
How do I store leftovers? Store refrigerated in a closed container for up to two days.
How do I reheat leftovers? Heat quickly in the microwave (avoid overcooking the shrimp as you reheat) or in a pan on the store with a little extra water or stock added to loosen the sauce.
Can I freeze? Sorry, no. This dish will not freeze well.
2 pounds shell-on uncooked shrimp, 16-20 per pound
6 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
10 medium cloves fresh garlic, divided (Five cloves left whole and smashed, five cloves minced and divided into three tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium sweet onion, cut in half from top to bottom then sliced into half-moon circles with the grain
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips two inches long and a half inch wide
12-ounces dry fusilli
Large pinch red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine, such as Chardonnay
3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock or broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated – plus more for serving
Optional – Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving
- Peel the shrimp and cut any large shrimp in half and leave the smaller shrimp whole.
- Place shrimp in a bowl with two tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and the kosher salt and marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and keep the water hot and ready to cook the pasta in a later step.
- In a large wok, pour in remaining 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Take five peeled garlic cloves and smash them on your cutting board with the side of a knife. Add to the pan with the oil and bring the heat to low.
- Cook the garlic on low for ten minutes, turning each piece a few times so they don’t cook too long on one side. After ten minutes, remove the garlic and discard.
- Heat the pan of garlic flavored oil over medium heat and add the onion and peppers and cook for about five minutes or until the vegetables have softened but still maintain texture. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the fusilli and cook a few minutes less than the package directions. The pasta should still have some chew and not be fully cooked.
- While the pasta cooks, raise the heat under the garlic oil to medium high and once hot, add one tablespoon of minced garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook one minute. Then add all of the shrimp including the marinade. Toss quickly and often to cook the shrimp almost to fully cooked. The shrimp should be pink on the outside and still a little opaque in the center, about three minutes. Pick up the wok or saute pan, and slide the shrimp with any liquid into the bowl with the pepper and onion.
- Keep the heat at medium high and add two tablespoons of butter and once melted, add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring continually.
- Add the wine and cook for two minutes, again stirring continually.
- Add the stock, lemon juice and lemon zest and cook over medium for one minute then reduce to low to hold until the pasta is cooked.
- Once the pasta is cooked, don’t drain but use a spider or strainer and add the almost-cooked pasta to the liquid in the wok along with one cup of the pasta water. Turn the heat to medium high and cook just long enough to finish cooking the pasta, maybe 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bowl with the shrimp, peppers and onions and bring everything up to hot.
- Stir in the remaining butter, the parsley and the Parmesan cheese and combine.
- Remove from heat and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
- Also, can be served with freshly cracked black pepper, optional.
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