If Life give you lemons, you can either have Tequila or make some Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta. Spring is all about fresh tastes after all.What better way to enjoy Spring, than indulge in some Citrusy goodness.The preparations for last weekend's Barbecue party had been going on in my house.Since the boys had decided to take care of it all, I had not bothered to venture into the kitchen. While I was cleaning up my kitchen the day after, I found among, other things, a bunch of fresh Lemons.As I had run out of Tequila, so I could not take the easier route in using the lemons.Hence thought of whipping up a Spring dinner with some of them. We had been over loading ourselves with cheese for the last few days, so a lemony pasta sauce would be a great alternative.

Lemon Cupcakes are a favorite of mine, but I was thinking in slightly different terms.Operation Lemon was officially on board. Baking had to wait for the weekends.For a weekday evening, I had to think in easier terms.Food Network hosts had been ranting about Spring recipes, hence the inspiration came from there. The inspiration was Melissa d'Arabian's recipe.I knew how to make a basic Shrimp Scampi,but I had to improvise it a little bit.I decided to add in a few tit-bits from Hubby's bacon wrapped shrimp marinade. Lemon zest and lemon juice work wonders, with shrimp. Hubby's lemony ginger bacon wrapped shrimp skewers at the barbecue,were quite a hit with the crowd.Dinner tonight was refreshingly light.And we landed up over eating.So much for portion control and purging the system.

Melissa's recipe had called for a home made shrimp stock,which she had made with some onion slices and the shrimp shells. The shrimps in my freezer were the cleaned variety, so I had to substitute the homemade shrimp stock with some store bought Chicken Stock.Paprika and Ginger amped up the heat in my dish, rather than Melissa's choice of Red Chili flakes.Well, the reviews for her recipe, had been criticised for the very same red chili flakes.Hence it was best to steer clear of it. I decided to add in Ginger, as it always works very well with shrimps. The sweetness of the shrimps is contrasted very well by the pungency of the ginger. I am not much of a parsley fan either, so in came Thyme, as my herb of choice. I used fresh thyme leaves, which I tore off the stems. Cooking with the stems and then discarding the stems, before serving, is not my style of cooking. Despite all these permutations and combinations, it still had the signature shrimp scampi taste. What a lovely weekday dinner ! Very ideal for days, when you do not have much time in your hands.

Melissa d'Arabian's original recipe:

Here is my adaptation of it :
Lemon: 2: Zest and Juice
Spaghetti: 1/2 lb
Shrimp: Cleaned and De-veined: 1/2 lb
Butter: 2 tbsp
Thyme leaves: 1 tsp
Olive Oil: 3 tbsp
Paprika: 1 tsp or more if you want more heat
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Salt : To taste
Chicken Stock: 1 cup
Pasta Water: 1/2 cup

Make a mixture of the olive oil, ginger paste, paprika, salt,juice and zest of one lemon, and whisk it well. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture overnight or at least for  a few hours.

Zest and juice the second lemon and keep aside.

In a large non stick pan, add in the prawns without the marinade, and cook them for a few minutes, till they change colour.

Boil the pasta with some salt ,according to package instructions, till they are al dente. Drain it in a colander. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water. Meanwhile, once the shrimps are cooked, keep them in a plate. Add in a tbsp of butter in the same pan.

Once the butter has melted, add in the minced garlic and fry it for around a couple of minutes.

 Add in the zest of the second lemon and mix well.

Add in the rest of the marinade and the thyme and cook it for around 2-3 minutes, stirring infrequently.

Once it starts bubbling mix in the rest of the lemon juice, chicken stock and the pasta water and cook it down, till the sauce reduces by half. Add in another tablespoon of butter. Check for seasoning, as the pasta water and the marinade itself had some salt. Lastly add in the shrimps to the sauce.

Add in the pasta to the sauce and shrimps and mix well.

Garnish with some more thyme, and serve hot. If you feel you have reduced the sauce, a bit too much, thin it down, with some more pasta water. The pasta water is starchy, and helps in binding the sauce to the pasta very well.

Enjoy lemony goodness.

Bon appetit !!

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