Citrus shrimp linguine

Big, juicy shrimp made bright with a citrus sauce over a bowl of comforting pasta is just the thing to stay warm in the winter while hoping for the first signs of spring.

The Runaway Spoon
Linguine serves as the perfect nest for big, juicy shrimp glazed with a citrus cream sauce.

It’s winter. Generally, it’s cold and gray, though here in Memphis, the months are punctuated with weirdly frustrating days of 70 degree F. weather. I love winter food, but I have souped and stewed and braised myself silly and I’m ready for something lighter and fresher. This recipe started as just that. A quick whip-up with the last citrus at the bottom of the fruit bowl and some shrimp from the freezer.  But this good enough to share, and could not be a quicker family meal or company dish.

Big juicy shrimp remind me of summer, and citrus is sometimes the one spot of sunshine in the winter foodscape. Add a little garlic and fresh, leafy parsley and this is a bright, sunny dish. A touch of cream adds some body, but mostly this sauce just glazes the pasta and shrimp with zest. Use a high-quality olive oil to make sure the citrus really shines.

Citrus Shrimp Linguine

Serves 4

12 ounces linguine

1 orange

1 lemon

1 lime

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup heavy cream

Small handful flat leaf parsley leaves, plus more for sprinkling

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the linguine in a pot of well-salted water according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Grate the zest of the orange, lemon, and lime into the carafe of a blender. Juice the citrus to produce 3/4 cup juice combined. Add the juice to the blender with the garlic, parsley, olive oil, cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Blend until smooth.

Pour the sauce into a large skillet or pot that will hold the pasta. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until cooked through. They will be pink, firm, and curled tightly. Immediately add the pasta to the pot and a couple of tablespoons of cooking water. Use tongs to toss everything together, coating all the pasta with the sauce.

Serve immediately sprinkled with a little chopped fresh parsley.

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