Lemon Basil Shrimp Orecchiette


For a spring time meal, it is best to keep it fresh and simple. A small amount of fresh ingredients can go a long way in this delicious seafood pasta dish. Hit the beach, walk through the garden and grab your cast iron. It is time to keep things light and hearty at the same time.

Let’s get started!

Ingredient List

  • 1 pound Orecchiette

  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

  • 6-8 ounces of Pancetta - Diced

  • 12 Ounces Large Shrimp - Peeled, tails removed and deveined

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic - Thinly Sliced

  • 1 Bell Pepper

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Pecorino Romano Cheese - Grated

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves - Roughly Chopped

  • 1 Fresh Lemon - 1 Teaspoon Juice and 2 Tablespoon of Zest


There are some alterations or additions you can make to this dish if you are looking for a change.

  • If you are in the mood for some heat, add a 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the dish. You can also switch out the bell pepper to your favorite spicy pepper to add some kick. 1 habanero or 2 small Fresno chile peppers are great substitutes.

  • Not a fan of seafood? Chicken is a perfect protein replacement for this dish. Just increase the cooking time to allow the chicken to cook thoroughly.

  • If you want a cheap replacement for the pancetta, you can always use bacon.

Total Cook Time — Approximately 20-25 minutes.

Total Prep Time — 15-20 minutes

Step 1:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the orecchiette and cook according to the directions on the package until the pasta is al dente. When draining the pasta, retain 1 cup of the pasta water for later use.

Step 2

In your cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and cook the pancetta until it is crispy. this usually takes around 8-10 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the skillet after it has browned and become crispy.

Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan and turn heat to medium.after the butter has melted, add the shrimp, bell pepper, lemon juice and garlic. Cook for about two minutes. The Shrimp should be slightly under cooked.

Step 3

Remove the shrimp and add the pasta to the skillet. Add the pancetta and reserved pasta water to the pan. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir everything together. add shrimp back to the pan and stir in until fully cooked. around 2-3 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the pan from the heat. top the dish with he fresh basil, lemon zest and cheese and serve immediately. You can also wait to add the cheese and basil until each serving is in individual bowls.

Step 5