Spaghetti with Shrimp, Garlic and Parmesan

Shrimp scampi

If you asked him, W would tell you his favourite foods are shrimp and pasta – and it occurred to me recently that for some reason, I’ve never thought to combine the two. Which is ridiculous for reasons beyond the fact that together, they are better than the sum of their parts – when it comes to pasta sauces, shrimp and garlic sautéed in butter is about as fast as you can get. Quicker, I think, than heating up a jar of sauce. Also – I generally have butter, garlic and Parm, and shrimp are easy to keep in the freezer, dry pasta on the shelf.

Barilla spaghetti

Because W is a pasta fiend and would it eat for every meal of the day if he could, I’ve been seeking out more nutrient-dense varieties – the tweediness of whole wheat never went over well, nor did it for me as a kid – I remember neighbour friends whose house I would avoid at dinnertime because they ate – gasp – whole wheat pasta. But I do love the mouthfeel of those made with legumes (you know I’m a pulse fan) – Barilla Protein Plus, for example, is made with lentils, chickpeas, barley, spelt, oat and flax – it has about 14 g per serving, and everyone gobbles it down.

Shrimp Scampi 2

In the end, W was the one who came up with this – it’s quick for us to make together – he could probably do it all on his own, in fact, but I do love cooking with him too – it’s not just about sharng the table, but sharing the kitchen.

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Garlic and Parmesan


June 3, 2016


1 340 g pkg Barilla Protein Plus spaghetti

1/2 cup butter

340 g lb raw peeled or tail-on shrimp

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

freshly ground black pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

chopped fresh parsley or small leaves of basil (optional)


1In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente. Return to the pot and add half the butter, cut into pieces. Toss to coat as the butter melts.

2Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter and saute the shrimp for 2-3 minutes, or just until they turn opaque, adding the garlic about halfway through. Season with pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add the pasta to the pan - or the shrimp and butter to the pot - and toss with tongs to coat with butter and distribute the shrimp. Toss in the Parmesan as well.

3Divide the pasta into shallow bowls and top with fresh parsley or basil, if you like. Serve with extra Parmesan for everyone to sprinkle on top.

4Serves 4-6.


*Barilla sent me a few boxes of pasta and compensated me for including it in a recipe- which is nice, since we already have it in our kitchen.


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6 comments on “Spaghetti with Shrimp, Garlic and Parmesan

  1. Vivian
    June 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I am concerned about the quality of shrimp we are offered in the major supermarkets …the farmed in Asia, doused with antibiotics . Fresh caught off North American shores, though more expensive, seem safer and probably more flavourful. What do you think.

    • ben
      June 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Me, too! I stopped eating shrimp for some time because of this issue. But it’s getting better! I’m seeing more and more shrimp farmed with better practices (inland tanks are the best bet, but quite difficult to find). Monterey Bay Aquarium’s highly-respected Seafood Watch program has recently given several kinds of shrimp the green light for eating again, much to my palate’s joy. Many shrimp remain on the “avoid like the plague” list so pay close attention when shopping!

  2. dbb
    June 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Is there a step missing? When do we add the 1/2 cup Parmesan…

  3. gloria
    June 4, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    you do not indicate when to add the parmesan cheese and state at the end to “serve with extra parmesan…..”

  4. Doréus
    June 6, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Swap olive oil for butter and it would be even better…

  5. Julia
    June 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I’m really glad to see you’re being compensated for your posts and I’m enjoying the awesome variety of products. High protein pasta made with lentils- who knew? I’m going to get some and experiment myself!

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