Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lemon Spaghetti

We are very fortunate to have some wonderfully talented people in our lives, and one such person happens to be Doug Braun, owner of Presidio Winery. Doug is passionate about producing biodynamic, sustainable wines in the Santa Barbara, CA area, and showcases his wines in his tasting room in  nearby Solvang, CA.
After talking all things wine and food recently, Doug and I decided to combine our talents with some wine and food pairings using his wine choices from the Presidio Wine Club. One of the wines for March was the 2012 Pinot Gris, a medium bodied white wine, with apple and pear fruit notes and a nice mineral finish. We tasted this wine with a couple of recipes, but this lemon spaghetti really made both the wine and the recipe shine.

The lemon flavor in the pasta really picked up the fruit in the wine, but was also not overpowered by the slight bitterness at the end. As for the pasta itself, it was a really easy recipe to make. The sauce can be mixed and the shrimp can be cooked in the time it takes the pasta to boil, and then everything is tossed together to make a delicious, easy dish perfect for busy weeknights and the upcoming warmer spring evenings.

Lemon Spaghetti with Shrimp
Adapted from Giada De Laurentis, via Food and Wine

Vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup capers, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley ( or basil), plus more for garnish

In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the capers and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to paper towels to drain.
In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. 
While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl whisk 2/3 cup of the olive oil with the grated cheese, lemon zest, ¼ tsp.salt (or to taste), and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Reserve remaining lemon juice to add as needed for taste.

In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just opaque, about 5 minutes total. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the pasta, lemon sauce, half of the reserved pasta water and the 1/2 cup of parsley. Cook, tossing, until the pasta and shrimp are coated, 2 minutes, adding more of the pasta water if the spaghetti is dry; transfer to shallow bowls, garnish with parsley and the fried capers and serve.
printable recipe
Lemons vary in acidity and flavor. Start with 1/3 cup of juice add more to bring up the flavor if necessary. 
 If you don't do shrimp this would be just as good as a side dish with grilled chicken or scallops.
The original recipe called for basil, but I used flat leaf parsley for its fresh citrusy flavor.

For more information on Presidio Wines visit their web page