Just 15 Minutes - Spaghetti with Lime and Shrimps
March 10th, 2005

Yesterday I got home from work – absolutely starving and I was freezing! We are still not through winter yet having lots of small, by now quite dirty snow-mountains along the streets here in Munich (also said to be the most northern city of Italy ;). Ha! And it is already middle of March. Oh well… That just as a little explanation, why I was in for some cooking, it simply had to be something hot (likely with pasta)!

Back to the point, I opened the fridge and catched sight of some delicious antipasti we got at our favorite stand at Viktualien Market: shrimps in garlic oil. So I decided to do a little variation of one of our favorite pasta dishes.
Spagetti with Lime and Shrimps
After returning home from work lots of people find it quite exhausting to go straight to the kitchen for even more work. I’ve have never perceived cooking as work, but then again neither have I worked in a restaurant nor do I have to feed a huge family on a daily basis, so it is quite easy to see cooking as pure fun… I would even go that far to say cooking after work developed to a kind of good habit and ritual we became fond of which kicks off leisure and quality time in the evening. Just give it a try yourself. The recipes don’t have to take hours to prepare! The following one just took 15 minutes and put a big smile (=yummy) on our faces!

Cook the pasta according to description. We rarely use other pasta than De Cecco, all our Italian friends – either restaurant owner or cooks – swear on this brand when it comes to dried pasta.
I prefer doing pasta dishes right to the point (as others prefer to keep the cooked pasta warm), but it’s not always easy to prepare both pasta and sauce to be ready within the exact same minute. Nevertheless al dente is the way to go, no question about that…

Gently heat some olive oil in a pan. I never ever have measured off ingredients like oil in pasta dishes, so I cannot state an exact amount. It should cover the pan though. Add some small dried red chilies – amount depends on your courage, we love it quite spicy. Unless you don’t want to diminish the fine taste of the seafood by overly adding sharpness, leave it to an amount of one to three. Add an additional clove of garlic (as the shrimps are already marinated in garlic oil), sliced or slightly crushed. The oil should not be to hot, as chilies and garlic easily turn too dark and bitter. However, light brown is ok.

Add the shrimps (or prawns) to the oil. They should sizzle for a minute, then add about a glass of white wine (used a dry Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, 2003) and let it simmer.

Meanwile prepare the (untreated) lime. First get the lime zest, then squeeze its juice. Finely chop three-quarters of the lime zest, keep the rest for decoration. Add chopped zest and half of the juice to the shrimps. I always taste the mixture at this point before adding the whole lime juice, because it should not get sour. Thicken it with two tablespoons of chilled butter.

Since adding the shrimps the whole process shouldn’t have taken any longer than 2 to 3 minutes, otherwise the shrimps are likely to get tough. Finally add some finely chopped fresh herbs, whatever is around, I added some thyme and parsley.

Drain the pasta and toss it carefully with the shrimps and the sauce in the pan. Arrange on plates and add the remaining lime zests on top. Some fresh black pepper – that’s it! (In case you’re wondering, whether I missed the salt – I didn’t. I usually add a generous dash of salt to the cooking water, so the pasta always gets a little salty tang – enough for this dish. If you feel the desire for some extra salt – go for it.) N.

Spaghetti with Lime and Shrimps

Recipe source: own creation

Time required: about 15 minutes


Ingredients (serves 2):

250 g spagetti

olive oil

1 garlic glove

1-3 dried little red chilies

150 g anipasti-shrimps (marinated in garlic oil)

1 lime

1 glass of dry white wine

2 teaspoons chilled butter

fresh thyme, parsley etc.

black pepper


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