Spicy Shrimp and Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Summary: This recipe, by Rachael Ray, is one of our favorites. I found it years ago and have been cooking it for us ever since. It is not subtle: you need to love garlic, anchovies and shrimp to groove on this dish, but if you do, this meal sings and you'll love it!!
Notes: Prepare the shrimp while the pasta is cooking. Prep your garlic and parsley for the aglio olio and set them, as well as the drained pasta and remaining ingredients all within arm's reach of your stove top. The aroma will be intense! Cooked anchovies have a salted-nutty (rather than fishy) taste that compliments the garlic as it sweetens and softens.

Yield: serves 2

For the Shrimp

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or put through a press 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the Aglio Olio

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • one 2-ounce tin anchovy fillets
  • 6 to 8 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced or put through a press
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • kosher salt


Combine the shrimp with the following 6 ingredients and toss to coat shrimp evenly. Place a large pot of well-salted water over high heat and bring to a boil; when ready, cook your spaghetti until al dente and then drain.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then add half of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 minutes until pink and just firm. Remove shrimp to a warm platter and repeat process with remaining shrimp.

Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add a quarter-cup extra virgin olive oil. Add the anchovies, garlic, and pepper flakes to oil. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt away into the oil and garlic mixture. When that's done, toss the cooked spaghetti in the pan with parsley and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Top servings of pasta with garlic and oil with spicy shrimp.