Shrimp & Asparagus Pasta in a Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

I loosely followed three different recipes to make this dish and was very happy with how it turned out.

The first recipe was my inspiration: Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus (VIDEO Recipe)

Ingredients

½ lb spaghetti
1 lb (or 1 bundle) asparagus, rinsed
3 Tbsp butter, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1½ Tbsp)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 or 21-25 count)
Sea Salt and Pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large or 2 small lemons)
⅓ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Grated Parmesan to serve

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook pasta according to package instructions until aldente, or desired doneness (meanwhile, continue with recipe). Drain pasta, return to pot and cover to keep warm.

Trim asparagus to remove fibrous ends. The fastest way is by snapping off the ends and wherever they snap is where the fibrous part ends. You can also use a vegetable peeler to remove fibrous ends. Cut asparagus into thirds.

Place a large, deep pan over medium/high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Add asparagus, season lightly with ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper and cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until crisp tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.

In the same hot skillet, add 2 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp butter. Once the butter is melted, add minced garlic and saute, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add shrimp in a single layer and season with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Saute until shrimp are pink and not translucent (about 2 minutes per side). Be careful not to overcook or shrimp will be tough.

Add ¼ cup lemon juice, ⅓ cup chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp lemon zest and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and return pasta and asparagus to the pan. Toss everything to combine and serve with grated Parmesan.

I really like the taste of lemon so I added some lemon juice to the asparagus skillet and the shrimp skillet while cooking.

I followed this recipe for my shrimp since I wanted a more traditional scampi than the recipe above: Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

Put the shrimp on a large disposable pie pan or paper plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high and invert the plate of shrimp over the skillet so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the lemon zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Divide the shrimp among plates or arrange on a platter and serve.

Finally, I knew I wanted more sauce and I wanted to use some capers and some shallots that I had in the refrigerator so I altered this recipe a little for a Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 lemons, juiced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh savory
1 sliced shallot (optional) – this is what I added

Crush capers in a small bowl with the back of a spoon.

Melt 1/2 teaspoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until the butter foams and is golden; saute capers and shallot until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add lemon juice, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by one-third, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Stir cold butter and savory into lemon mixture, stirring constantly until butter is completely melted and sauce is shiny and thick, about 1 minute.

To serve, I swirled the pasta around in the skillet I used to cook the shrimp and asparagus to soak up any remaining sauce. I put the asparagus on top of the pasta and then the shrimp. I poured the sauce over top and then used tongs to put on the individual plates.

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