This Rosemary Shrimp Pasta is effortlessly elegant yet quick and easy. Perfect for a mid-week dinner with friends or Saturday date night.
The shrimp are stirred through pasta, dressed with a simple garlic and rosemary sauce. And everything comes together in the time it takes to cook pasta!
Just six ingredients go into this recipe, but don't be fooled. The flavors in this dish are simple, but they work so well together. Garlic, shrimp, fragrant rosemary, and lemons work so well with the pasta.
I've said it before, but shrimp pasta always feels just a little bit special! Yet they are often so simple to make! Especially if you keep shrimp in the freezer! (Hint - You should!)
Frozen shrimp are so versatile! And they defrost quickly, meaning you are never far away from a great shrimp dinner!
If you forget to get the shrimp out of the freezer in the morning, an easy way to quickly defrost frozen shrimp is to dissolve a teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water and add the frozen shrimp. Leave this on the counter for 30-45 minutes, and the shrimp will have defrosted.
Size-wise, for this dish, I go for 20-25, which gives a serving of 10-12 smallish shrimp per person, and it makes sure they cook in the given time frame.
Cooking the shrimp
Shrimp need barely any cooking time! For this recipe, we cook them in with the pasta. The heat of the pasta and the extra minute of cooking with the sauce leaves you with perfectly cooked shrimp.
Once the pasta is cooked, add the shrimp to the boiling water and then immediately drain the pasta. The shrimp will continue to steam in pasta while you stir through the garlic and rosemary oil.
This method of cooking the shrimp keeps them juicy and stops them from getting rubbery or overcooked. Don't be alarmed by this method. Once they have sat in the steam and been tossed through the hot sauce, they will be perfectly cooked.
A simple sauce
This is essentially an oil seafood pasta dish! The sauce is a beautiful mix of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and some of the pasta cooking water!
The pasta cooking water is the best free ingredient! It is nice and starchy and helps to make an emulsion with the oil that clings to the pasta and coats every strand in garlicky rosemary goodness.
Be sure to use fresh rosemary for this dish; dried rosemary won't give you the woody flavor that you need.
The garlic and rosemary are cooked gently in olive oil; this helps avoid the raw metallic taste of garlic and allows the natural oils in the rosemary to seep into the olive oil.
Make sure you add the lemon zest at the last moment of cooking; this ensures the flavor stays bright and fresh rather than getting a bitter edge.
What pasta to use
Long thin pasta noodles are perfect here, so go for spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, or fusilli lunghi.
On the side: As this pasta is so fresh and light, it makes the perfect dish to pair with a garlic bread pizza or a simple pizza margarita.
Wine: These light garlic shrimp are best friends with something dry and sparkling. So pair this dish with an Italian prosecco or an Australian/Californian sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir.
If you cook this Rosemary Shrimp Pasta, don't forget to come back and comment or tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Rosemary Shrimp Pasta
- 3 garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary - see note 1
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 12 oz pasta - see note 2
- 1 pound raw shrimp - peeled and deveined - see note 3
- 1 lemon - zested
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While the water is coming to a boil, peel, and crush or finely chop the garlic.
span class="ingredient-colour">3 cloves of garlic
- Add the olive oil, chopped garlic, and chopped rosemary to a cold skillet and cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes until the garlic has softened.
span class="ingredient-colour">chopped garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Once the pasta water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta and cook until al dente.
span class="ingredient-colour">1 tablespoons salt
12oz/340g dried pasta
- Once the pasta is cooked, remove a cup of the pasta cooking water, add the peeled shrimps and stir well.
span class="ingredient-colour">1 lb/450g raw peeled shrimp
- Immediately drain the pasta and shrimp.
- Place the pan back onto the heat, add the garlic and rosemary oil, and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water.
- Return the pasta and shrimp to the pan. Stir well over medium-high heat until everything is glossy and coated and the shrimp are cooked through. Add more pasta cooking water if it starts to look too dry.
- Add the zest of the lemon and then season with salt and pepper (to taste) and serve immediately.
span class="ingredient-colour">zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
- Be sure to use fresh rosemary for this dish; dried rosemary won't give you the woody flavor that you need.
- Long thin pasta noodles are perfect here, so go for spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, or fusilli lunghi.
- Go for 20-25, which gives a serving of 10-12 smallish shrimp per person and makes sure they cook in the given time frame. If using frozen shrimp, ensure they are fully defrosted.