This Spaghetti Nero with Garlic Shrimp tastes like it comes straight from a fine dining restaurant.
The wonderful squid ink pasta is coated in a delicious garlic butter sauce and topped with juicy seared shrimp. Such an elegant and easy dinner, perfect for date night or for entertaining.
You can use fresh arugula/rocket or spinach in the dish and the addition of red pepper flakes is totally optional!
If you said I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I would pick pasta. If you made me pick one pasta dish, then I think this Spaghetti Nero with Shrimp might be it.
Seriously I love everything about this!! But please don't make me pick one food!!! I would miss potatoes and steak and rice and curry and oysters and brie and every other type of pasta.....Oh man, don't make me pick!
Why is Spaghetti Nero and Shrimp so good?
Garlic, butter and shrimp are a match made in heaven - they just sing together. Add in a little oregano, a pinch of chilli and you have the most amazing shrimp dish. But when you add squid ink pasta into the dish well you have a dish made in heaven.
What does Squid Ink Pasta taste like?
Squid ink pasta has a subtle flavour of the sea, think a slight salty briny taste. Not strong, or overpowering. Just a hint of the ocean.
The ink also changes the texture of the pasta, making it smoother and silkier even when cooked to al-dente.
Don't be put off by the color or the thought of the ink. The squid ink pasta is a great dramatic addition to the pasta shelf!
How to cook garlic shrimp
The key to garlic shrimp is the way the garlic is prepared. Minced garlic can burn easily, so if you slice the garlic rather than mincing it, it doesn't burn as easily.
We start by getting the frying pan or skillet really hot, this will allow the shrimp to sear quickly and get a nice color on them.
To do this place the skillet over a medium high heat and allow it to get hot. Once hot add the olive oil and cook the shrimp for 1 minutes on each side. Once cooked, add in the butter and garlic. It will melt and sizzle straight away.
Immediately add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, this cools the butter and further prevents the garlic from burning. Plus it helps to make a great easy sauce.
Why use pasta cooking water in a sauce?
The pasta cooking water contains starch from the pasta, so when you add it to sauces it helps to thicken then. This means you can use less cream or butter. Plus the water helps the sauce stick to the pasta so each piece is luxuriously coated in sauce, rather than having the pasta just sat in a pool of sauce.
Regular readers are probably sick of me mentioning this 😉
For more Great Pasta Recipes try:
- Garlic Butter Pasta with Garlic Chicken
- Shrimp Chorizo Pasta
- Pasta with Chicken Broth and Butter
- Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce
- Pasta with Roasted Fennel
- Creamy Pepper Steak Pasta
- Black Truffle Pasta
- See ALL 40+ Pasta Recipes
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Spaghetti Nero with Garlic Shrimp
- 8 oz squid ink pasta
- 4 cloves garlic
- 9 oz peeled and de-veined shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup butter - cut into cubes
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes - optional
- 1 cup arugula/baby spinach
- parmesan - optional
- Peel the garlic and slice it paper thin (see note1) and set it to one side for later.
- Place a large pan of water onto boil. Once it is bubbling add a generous amount of salt and cook the squid ink pasta according to the package instructions. (Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining)
- Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and once hot add the olive oil and the shrimp. Cook for 1 minutes on each side.
- Add in the butter cubes, garlic, oregano and chilli flakes. The butter should melt instantly. Pour in ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and allow the sauce to bubble gently for a further 2 minutes. Season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
- Add in the arugula/spinach.
- Drain the pasta mix into the butter sauce, stir to combine, adding more cooking water to loosen the pasta if needed.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan, if desired.
- Slicing the garlic rather than mincing it, means it won't burn in the butter whilst the shrimp cook.