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Lemony Spaghetti with Shrimp and Pistachio Breadcrumbs

This recipe is one of my favorites! It’s so fresh, garlicky and herby, it embodies all those wonderful Italian flavors. It’s a pretty simple dish, but complex and full of textures. The pistachio/ parmesan breadcrumb topping is perfectly crunchy and pairs so well with the pasta.

You can use linguini or tagliatelle, but make sure to get large shrimps and don’t skip the breadcrumbs! These might be small details but they truly make the dish. And don’t throw away all those shrimp shells, because we’re making a quick shrimp stock with them. It adds extra flavor and maintains a seafood flavor (instead of using chicken or vegetable stock). 

Get all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, and grated before you start cooking and you’ll be able to assemble your pasta super quickly and effortlessly.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback, so please leave a comment below!

Lemony Spaghetti with Shrimp and Pistachio Breadcrumbs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 8 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
    For the Breadcrumbs

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan


  1. Prepare your ingredients: peel and devein the shrimp, finely chop the garlic and parsley, zest the lemon, and chop the pistachios.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the breadcrumbs: heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and pistachios and toast, stirring frequently, until golden – 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon zest, parmesan, and parsley. Toss to combine.
  4. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. In the skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add shrimp and saute until just cooked through and pink, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add olive oil to skillet. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp shells and cook for another minute. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced, about 3 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat to low, add the pasta, lemon juice, and shrimp; toss to coat. Add a splash of reserved cooking water, if needed, to loosen up the sauce.
  7. Top with breadcrumbs and serve.

Tips & Tricks: Drizzle with additional olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and flaky salt, if desired.

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