Garlic Shrimp and Pasta

Garlic Shrimp and Pasta


  • 1 pound (450g) large shrimp, peeled and split down the back, veins removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 4 teaspoons (16g) minced garlic (about 4 medium cloves)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) dry vermouth (you can substitute white wine)
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice and 1 teaspoon (4g) grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1lb fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well, reserving 1 cup of pasta water for use later.

Toss shrimp with 3/4 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt and baking soda until evenly coated. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and but no longer than 1 hour.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Add half of the shrimp to the pan, stirring and turning shrimp occasionally, until pink, barely cooked through, and just starting to turn lightly golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate using a slotted spoon, flexible slotted offset spatula, or tongs, Repeat with remaining shrimp, adding more oil if necessary.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil to skillet along with garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is just starting to turn golden, about 1 minute; lower heat if necessary to prevent scorching.

Add vermouth (you can use white wine vinegar as a substitute for a non-alcoholic version) and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until raw alcohol smell is mostly gone and vermouth (or vinegar) has reduced by about half, about 3 minutes.

Add butter and cook, stirring and swirling pan rapidly as butter melts to create a silky, emulsified sauce. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and season with salt. Return to medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. (If sauce breaks, whisk in a teaspoon or two of water until sauce emulsifies again.)

Return shrimp to skillet, add parsley, cooked pasta and lemon zest, and toss so all is coated with sauce (adding a little of the reserved pasta water if too dry) and warmed through.