Just 15 minutes is all you need to make this Creamy Lemon Pepper Parmesan Pasta dish with your choice of langostino, shrimp or lobster! It’s super easy and seriously delicious!
Did you ever have one of those dishes that just…happened? Like you’re hungry but none of your ‘usuals’ sound good so you decide to wing it and pretty much throw stuff together and hope for the best? Sometimes they are complete and utter failures (i.e, my mulberry cheesecake that was so bad even the dog wouldn’t eat it) and then other times they are so freaking amazing that you devour it pretty much before it hits the plate. And I bet on those dishes that were truly stellar you didn’t quite write down the ingredients or amounts used so when you tried to recreate it, it wasn’t quite right. Yeah, that’s happened to me too.
But not this time! See I learned my lesson years ago. I made this one sauce recipe on the fly and it was so good we literally were scraping the jar clean. I figured “Eh, I got this, a pinch of this, a smidge of that and easy peasy. Recreated deliciousness!” WRONG! It was good but it never was the same. To this day I still can’t make it like I did that day. So now I keep a pen and notepad in the kitchen at all times. And this is a pad/pen that Mr. Fantabulous has been banned from using/touching/even looking at as those are my kitchen lifelines to recipe development.
This recipe today is thanks to my kitchen lifelines.
The backstory: I didn’t have any Sunday gravy made and honestly didn’t feel like it. I had a bag of lemons that I had to use up – see I wanted to make lemonade but I ‘butterflied’ and just never gave it a 2nd thought. And I had a few bags of cooked langostino that I bought as I really wanted to make a tortellini soup with it. Yeah…none of those recipes happened
So there sat the lemons and the langostino begging to be transformed into something delicious. As I was trying to figure out what I was going to make with this, Mr. Fantabulous came into kitchen, pulled up a stool at the island and watched me. He’s like “honey I’m hungry, what’s for lunch?” to which I responded with a “dunno, something”. Now the easiest thing for him is some type of pasta. I grabbed some bowtie pasta and figured I’d just go with a garlic aioli sauce with the langostino and a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
I made the pasta and as it was draining I started to make the garlic aioli…or so I thought I was going to make it. Into the pot went the heavy cream.. wha? That’s not in an aioli and put the cream into a pot before you make a roux, totally backward I know. BUT…. this is where kitchen know-how comes into play.
By bringing the cream to a low boil, if you add lemon juice (or some acid to it) it will actually thicken the cream up to a true sauce – no roux needed thus gluten free! BUT it’s temperamental. You need to whisk, whisk, whisk to prevent it from curdling. Adding in some salt, pepper (lots of pepper) and Parmesan cheese and you have one epic sauce.
This dish literally took 15 minutes to make from start to finish; including making the pasta! I absolutely LOVED this dish. While it had heavy cream in it, the sauce felt ‘light’ partly due to the bright lemon notes. So I made us each a dish and of course, I got the look. It’s the look you get from an Italian man when you serve him a plate of pasta that is not covered in red sauce or clam sauce. The “how dare you to mess with my heritage’s recipes woman!” look. I said “It’s just a lemon parm sauce with seafood, you’ll like it. If not, make yourself pb&j” then proceeded to dig in.
So Mr. Fantabulous will do this thing when he knows I really want a reaction to a new recipe. He’ll take a few bites but not say a single world. His breathing doesn’t change, no facial expressions, no sounds… nothing. That is absolute TORTURE for me. Well after like 5 minutes he must have felt my glare burning a hole in the side of his head as he cracked a smile and started to belly laugh telling me how cute I was. He was surprised that he honestly loved it for being “not-real pasta”. Um… then what are those bowtie noodles? *shrugs* I got the two thumbs up and the “please tell me you wrote this recipe down as it’s awesome!” comment.
This time, yeah this time I was prepared with my notebook as I was just ‘tossing stuff in a pot. Since creating this recipe I’ve played with various types of pasta shapes and seafood. I don’t like it with traditional pastas like spaghetti or linguini but rather I prefer it with the smaller shaped pasta. Cavatappi rocked in it too as the sauce and seafood just clung to the sexy little spirals. As for the seafood, it’s awesome with cooked shrimp, lobster, and even clams. Hey go for a seafood trio and use ’em all! You can’t go wrong with this dish. It’s definitely a keeper in my house and hopefully in yours!
- 16 oz bowtie pasta
- Zest 2 lemons (about 2 Tbl)
- 3 Tbl lemon juice
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups cooked langostino (can use shrimp or lobster)
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, boil the pasta until al dente, ~11 minutes or per the instructions on your package. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside. Clean out the pot and return to the stove.
- Over medium heat add the cream, l1 Tbl emon zest, pepper, 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to a low boil. Add in the cheese and lemon juice whisking until thickened – this should just take a few minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low add in the cooked pasta, langostino and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, taste for seasonings (add more pepper salt if needed), serve and garnish with remaining lemon zest.