Craving Summer: Lemon Shrimp Pasta

As the weather is warming up, I find myself craving summer.  One of my favorite things about my home is our huge backyard.  We live on a little over an acre of land, which is pretty rare for our area.  We have a nice patio right behind the house, a pool with a great deck my dad built, a volleyball net, and then some extra room to spare.  My dad loves landscaping and gardening (sadly, I did not inherit his green thumb) and in the summertime we spend most of our time in the backyard.

Last May, I decided I wanted to cook a really nice meal for two of my best friends, LPC and ALG, to kick off the summer and have a little girls night.  I went to Target and got cute things for my tablescape (which, by the way, is a new word I've learned blogging) and got cooking!  Now, I'm craving a taste of that delicious meal as well as summer fun with friends.

ALG, LPC, Allie
Please ignore my slight sunburn

The menu for the night was a Lemon Shrimp Pasta and one of my summer (or anytime of year for that matter) favorites, Sangria.  ALG also brought some homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert.  I got both of the recipes online, however, I wrote them down by hand, and therefore can't cite them to their proper source.

  • 1 bottle red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Roja, Zinfandel, Shiraz)--I have no memory of which I used
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 orange cut into wedges
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Splash of orange juice or lemonade (I used OJ)
  • 2 shots of gin or triple sec (optional)--I used the gin and may have been a bit generous when adding it, hehe!
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
  • 4 cups Gingerale (I used Sprite because I don't really care for Gingerale)
  1. Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange, and lime into the wine.  Toss in fruit wedges and pineapple, then add sugar, OJ, and gin.
  2. Chill overnight (I learned that this is key to making a good Sangria!)
  3. Add Gingerale (Sprite in my case), strawberries and ice just before serving.
Lemon Shrimp Pasta
Makes 6 servings. 
  • 1 lb of shrimp
  • 12 oz angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (these were expensive, so I skipped them)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons (1/4 cup or so)
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, mint (I used all 3)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper (I did not measure this, just added some pepper)
  1. Cook angel hair pasta al dente
  2. Cook shrimp on a skillet (until pink) with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, herbs, salt and pepper
  3. Combine with pasta and grape tomatoes.  Add more salt and pepper as necessary to taste
Voila, the final product!

It turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself!

We had so much fun sipping (or, maybe, gulping) sangria and chitchatting all night!  

What are your favorite summertime meals?  Are you craving summer as badly as I am?

As a side note, in case you were wondering, I went to the doctor and have a sinus infection, which is a bummer.  Luckily, however, it's not contagious, so I can still spend some much-needed time with Cuties A and B.