Pasta for dinner! This riff on shrimp scampi adds peas, lemon, and fresh mint for a pasta dinner that's ready for spring.
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
- 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) frozen peas, rinsed with cold water to defrost
- 2 tablespoons whole fresh mint leaves
1 Cook the spaghetti: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite.
Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of starchy pasta cooking water with a heatproof measuring cup. Drain the spaghetti and, without rinsing, return it to the pan. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; toss well and set aside. Reserve the remaining pasta cooking water.
2 Cook the shrimp: In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot, add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp start to turn bright pink; they will not be fully cooked at this point. Scoop out and remove the garlic. Tip the shrimp and chili flakes into the pot with the pasta.
3 Finish the dish: Set the pot of pasta over low heat. Add the ricotta, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the remaining pasta cooking liquid.
Cook, stirring gently, until the liquid heats up and the shrimp are pink and cooked all the way through. Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture seems dry. Add the peas and mint and toss gently until the peas are hot.
4 Serve: Divide among 4 shallow bowls and serve.