IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Zucchini and Lemon

Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it is light, so flavorful and it's so quick and easy to make. It just screams summer in Italy to me! I like to add grated Parmesan to this dish, it brings a lovely richness. But adding cheese to pasta dishes with fish is a matter of choice. You do what you like!

Technique tip: If you are going to do zoodles, spiralize them, salt them, and let them hang out on a tray with a rack, and then squeeze out the water from the noodles because that gives them a really great texture. It makes the zucchini feel like pasta. You can then throw them in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes which really dries them out and then you just toss them right into the pan with the sauce — no boiling needed!

Swap option: You can use zoodles instead of regular noodles.

Special equipment: A spiralizer. If you cannot find a spiralizer, you can use a mandolin to cut the zucchini, or you can just cut the zucchini by hand to practice those knife cuts.


  • extra-virgin oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, gently smashed with the side of a knife, but mostly kept whole, divided
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound spaghetti of choice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 sprigs oregano, picked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)



Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Taste the water (it should be salty like the ocean).


Coat a large, wide, straight-sided sauté pan generously with olive oil. Toss in 5 of the garlic cloves, a pinch of crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. When the garlic is golden and aromatic, remove and discard; it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. We are just looking to perfume the oil and not overpower with garlic.


Toss in the shrimp, season with salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes (very quick!). Remove from the pan and reserve. The shrimp won't be all the way done, but don't worry!


Coat the pan generously again with olive oil. Toss in the remaining garlic and another pinch of crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. When the garlic is golden and aromatic, remove it and ditch it.


Add the zucchini to the pan, season with salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.


Drop the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Strain the pasta.


While the pasta is cooking, add the chicken stock to the pan with the zucchini. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Toss in the butter and swirl around to incorporate.


Add the cooked pasta to the pan along with half of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice, cooked shrimp and remaining pasta water if things are a little dry. You want this to be saucy but not soupy. Turn off the heat and add in the oregano, a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan if using. Toss or swirl vigorously to combine. Plate and serve immediately.