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Linguine with Lemon-Garlic Shrimp


Serves 3

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

This easy pasta gets its luxurious creaminess from mascarpone, an Italian cream cheese.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. dried thin linguine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lb. extra-large (26 to 30 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, finely grate 1-1/4 tsp. of zest from the lemon and squeeze 2 Tbs. of juice. Toss the shrimp with 1/2 tsp. of the zest and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and cook until slightly reduced, 1 minute.

Add the drained pasta, mascarpone, and 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss well, adding more cooking water as needed, until the pasta and shrimp are coated and the sauce looks creamy. Remove from the heat. Toss in the remaining 3/4 tsp. lemon zest and the chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a side of Sautéed Broccoli Raab with Balsamic Vinegar.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 830, Fat (kcal): 45, Fat Calories (g): 410, Saturated Fat (g): 24, Protein (g): 40, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12, Carbohydrates (mg): 62, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2.5, Sodium (g): 640, Cholesterol (g): 340, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

We had this for dinner tonight and loved it. It's a forgiving recipe that tolerates additions and substitutions really well. I added sliced asparagus to the pasta while it was boiling and substituted a combination of regular cream cheese and non-fat sour cream for the mascarpone with great results. (If you decide to substitute a non-fat or low-fat dairy product in place of the mascarpone, don't forget to stabilize it with cornstarch or flour to prevent curdling. I used 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch to stabilize 2 tablespoons non-fat sour cream.) Just one caution: this may be easy to put together but it isn't quick. I spent about 45 minutes boiling pasta, zesting and squeezing lemon,peeling and slicing garlic, snipping chives and measuring wine and dairy products. It was well worth all the prep work but not a dish I'd want to make on an evening when I'm in a hurry to put dinner on the table.

Wonderful...but the 1/2 cup of pasta water was way too much. Had to add more mascarpone to thicken it. Also helps thickening and flavor melding to let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Definitely will make again...for dinner guests!

This was a wonderful dish with a lot of rich flavour. Very easy to put together as well. I love it's bright lemon overtones and, much to my delight, have recently discovered that leftovers freeze very well. Use your freshest meatiest shrimp and don't overcook them or the pasta.


Excellent! I didn't have marscapone cheese so I used light cream cheese and it was still very good. Going to try it with the proper cheese tonight.

Okay recipe, nothing special. Quick weeknight meal with a lot of leftovers though.

Excellent and very quick. The lemon really stands out. I've made once exactly as directed, and once without the chives. The dish was a big hit with my two kids.

Not awesome. Kinda sticky.

Wow! This tastes great and it is so quick to prepare! For those not wanting to ruin their diet with an 860 calorie dish... if you cut the amount of mascarpone in half and consider this four servings instead of 3, it drops to a more respectable 550 calories. The dish was plenty creamy for me, and I feel more than full with 2 oz of pasta. Am definitely going to make this again! Would be wonderful for a dinner party.

This was very tasty, but like other reviewers we put the shrimp in later than the recipe suggests. We also added mushrooms and peppers to the pasta for a little variety and added nutrition. We will definitely be making this again!

We really liked this, but will do as dmazura suggested next time - remove the shrimp, before reducing the sauce. Not having done so resulted in the shrimp being completely overcooked which ruined an otherwise fantastic dish!

Very good! Made this for friends one Friday night after work and everyone agreed it is a great combination of flavors. One alteration I made: after searing the shrimp I removed them from the pan, added the remaining ingredients, and then added them back when the pasta was added. This kept them from overcooking while reducing the sauce.

Go easy on the red pepper flakes unless you like it spicy.

excellent and very easy to do

This recipe is very tasty, extremely easy and time sensitive. Perfect for the working individual who wants a great tasting meal in a short amount of time. I have shared this with friends who are now using it on a regular basis. A keeper in my Meals on the Fly file.

My wife and I cooked this tonight and it was "THE BOMB" with the mascarpone it was so creamy and tasted great. A KEEPER!

The dish is wonderful! I liked how easy it was to make. Will definitely make it again.

Turned out GREAT! I added some chopped mushroom and definitely agree with another opinion about using the entire lemon (which isn't overbearing in the least). I would make this again for a guest night anytime.

My new go-to pasta dish. Easy, fast, and incredible. Restaurant quality with week-night cooking time constraints.

Great dish! I was a bit hesitant about the lemon juice, but found that it could really use the full dose - the taste was still subtle. I followed the advice of another reviewer to take the shrimps out when opaque, adding them back later, and they stayed nice and juicy. I will definitely make it again.

Our family loves this recipe...even our 1 and 3 year old. We added peas last time and it was really good.

This was tasty and easy to make. I like the creaminess of using the marscopone but it sure ups the calories and fat. Nice for a once in awhile treat even if you are trying to eat healthy like me.

Made this last night. Really liked the mascarpone cheese as it added a new dimension to my usual shrimp scampi recipe. Will make again but will remove shrimp while reducing the sauce as shrimp did overcook and became tough. Will return shrimp to the sauce with linguine and other ingredients

easy and yummy -- made some peas to toss in it as well. I did cut back a little on the lemon zest at the end (and it was still pretty lemon-y). Also substituted grated parm for some of the mascarpone. Husband is not a huge fan of shrimp, but went back for seconds and called it a 'keeper'. Bet it would be good with scallops too.

A very nice pasta dish which lends itself to tweaking. Used the yield of zest and juice from one lemon. Added a couple of cups of broccoli florets to the pasta pot about a minute before draining it. Also substituted chopped green onion for the chives. Freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan makes a nice addition to each serving.

This recipe was amazing!!!Both my husband and I devoured it! Cooking the shrimp in this manner gave it the best flavor I have ever had with cooked shrimp. That is saying a lot since I don't generally care for hot shrimp. Bravo, Fine Cooking! Your recipes are the best!

AMAZING! My husband even said this was a new favourite. It is a great recipe for a quick and delicious weeknight meal.

When I made this recipe, I added all of the zest from 1 lemon (I like lemon flavor) and it was delicious. You can't go wrong with lemon and garlic. Fairly quick and easy to make.

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