Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp and Saffron

Linguine with zucchini, shrimp and saffron is one of the classic dishes of the Italian cuisine. The combination of zucchini and shrimp is a classic and very tasty one!

The taste of the sea and the taste of the vegetable garden are in perfect harmony in this dish. With the addition of saffron, you will be adding an extra touch of both color and flavor to your dish!

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I have used linguine, but you can use any kind of pasta that you like or that you have on hand, long or short.

This linguine recipe will be creamy and enveloping, but I will not use cream or butter, unlike many people. The secret to the creaminess is the addition to the sauce of a sauce made from the heads and shells of the shrimp and also some of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

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I have the linguine cooked directly in the sauce. This allows the pasta to absorb all the intense flavor of the shrimp and the sweetness of the zucchini. The saffron adds a unique color and flavor.

So try this simple but very tasty recipe. Follow the steps to prepare a fantastic seafood pasta dish to great effect. Your guests are sure to love Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp and Saffron!

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Ingredients

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Cook Time: 20 Min
  • Servings: 4

  • 350 g (3/4 pound) Linguine pasta
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) of zucchini
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) of shrimps
  • saffron, 2 sachets
  • 1 shallot
  • 50 g (4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil. Try this Sorrento EVO oil in a beautiful ceramic bottle
  • fine salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

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Cooking Tools and Equipment

To prepare linguine with zucchini, shrimp and saffron, you will need some kitchen tools that will help ensure perfect cooking and flavor.

  • Bowls of different sizes: Very convenient for putting ingredients in as you make the recipe and for dissolving the saffron.
  • Strainer: Needed to extract the bisque from the shrimp heads.
  • Nonstick pan: Essential for cooking and simmering the mixed zucchini and shrimp sauce, but also for seasoning linguine after cooking.
  • Wooden cutting board: Very useful for shredding zucchini and shrimp with ease.
  • Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring the seasoning. A wooden spoon is gentle on pots and pans and is effective for stirring ingredients without scratching the surface of the pan.
  • Pot for cooking pasta A large pot is necessary for cooking pasta, as it provides enough space for the pasta to cook evenly without sticking.
  • Slotted pasta spoon: Perfect for draining linguine after cooking. Slots allow you to drain the water and hold the pasta securely.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron: Instructions

Make the Sauce

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 1

Step 1) – First clean the shrimp. I used fresh shrimp with the heads still on. Important, because with the heads and shells I made a delicious shrimp broth! Then remove the heads and shells. Put them aside in a bowl. Remove the shrimp’s intestines, if any. Finally, set the cleaned shrimp aside.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 2

Step 2) – In a saucepan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the heads and shells of the shrimp. Stir and season for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of cold water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then strain the broth and set aside in a bowl.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 3

Step 3) – Chop one shallot. Then put it in a pan with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 4

Step 4) – Meanwhile, wash the zucchini and remove the ends. Then cut it into small pieces. You can make small cubes or cut into slices, depending on your preference. Add the chopped zucchini to the onion and mix.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 5

Step 5) – Meanwhile, cut the shrimp into pieces. If the shrimp are very small, you can leave them whole. When the zucchini is nicely browned and soft, which takes about 10 minutes, add the shrimp and a few tablespoons of shrimp broth. Stir well and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. The shrimp do not need a long cooking time. Season to taste with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.

Cook the Pasta

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 6

Step 6) – Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to the cooking time on the package. Allow about 2 minutes less to finish cooking in the pan with the sauce. Drain the linguine with a slotted spoon and add to the pan with the zucchini and shrimp.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 7

Step 7) – In a small bowl, pour about 50 ml (3 1/3 tablespoons) of the shrimp broth and dissolve the saffron in it. Stir well.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp & Saffron step 8

Step 8) – Turn the heat back up under the sauce and finish cooking by adding the broth with the saffron and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. The starch in the pasta water will make the sauce creamy. Stir and check the cooking time.

PLEASE NOTE: If the linguine seems too dry, add a little more shrimp broth, but ONLY when the liquid has been completely absorbed and the pasta is NOT overcooked.

Finally, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve the shrimp, zucchini and saffron linguine hot. Perhaps with a good glass of chilled white wine. Enjoy!

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Storage

Linguine with zucchini, shrimp and saffron is obviously great if you taste it as soon as it is made, hot and creamy.

It’s not therefore advisable to prepare this recipe in advance.

Should it be leftover, you can store it for up to a day in the refrigerator, sealed in an airtight container.

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Fresh or Frozen Shrimp?

  • FRESH: It’s definitely best to use medium-sized whole shrimp. Preferably fresh with head and shell still on. The broth made from the heads and shells of the shrimp is very important for the optimal success of the recipe.
  • FROZEN: Frozen shrimp are also fine. Let them thaw in the refrigerator and then proceed as described. If you use fresh or frozen shrimp that have already been cleaned, however, I recommend dissolving the saffron in a concentrated vegetable broth flavored with garlic and marjoram. Or just in a little starch-rich pasta cooking water. Obviously the fish flavor will be less intense and concentrated but the result will still be excellent.

Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp and Saffron: Variations and Tips

  • HERBS: To give a more aromatic flavor to linguine with shrimp, zucchini and saffron, you can add a little fresh or dried Marjoram, depending on the season. Oregano is also very suitable for this recipe.
  • TYPE OF PASTA: As mentioned above, you can certainly use the type of pasta you prefer for this preparation. You can also make this dish with fresh fettuccine. Your dish will be even tastier. Be careful, however, not to overcook it. In fact, fresh pasta has a very short cooking time of 2 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness. In my opinion, long pasta is more suitable because it wraps the sauce better. So I recommend Linguine or Bavette or Spaghetti. Among short pastas, the most suitable formats, are Maltagliati, Paccheri, Fusilli or Caserecce.

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Linguine with Zucchini, Shrimp and Saffron
Linguine with zucchini, shrimp and saffron is one of the classic dishes of the Italian cuisine. The combination of zucchini and shrimp is a classic and very tasty one!
The taste of the sea and the taste of the vegetable garden are in perfect harmony in this dish. With the addition of saffron, you will be adding an extra touch of both color and flavor to your dish!
Course pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword zucchini pasta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 288kcal
Author Silvana Nava
Equipment
  • Bowls of different sizes
  • Strainer
  • Nonstick pan
  • Wooden cutting board
  • Wooden Spoon:
  • Pot for cooking pasta
  • Slotted pasta spoon
Ingredients
  • 350 g Linguine ¾ pound
  • 300 g pears 10.5 oz
  • 300 g shrimps 10.5 oz
  • 2 sachets saffron
  • 1 shallot
  • 50 g oil 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • fine salt
  • ground black pepper
Instructions
  • Remove the heads and shells of the shrimps, but don't discard them. Remove the shrimp’s intestines, if any. Set aside.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil and add the heads and shells of the shrimps. Cook for a few minutes then add 2 cups of cold water and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • In a pan, sauté the chopped shallot with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.
  • Add the chopped zucchini to the onion and mix.
  • When the zucchini is nicely browned and soft, which takes about 10 minutes, add the shrimp and a few tablespoons of shrimp broth. Stir well and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
  • Cook the linguine according to the cooking time on the package. Drain the linguine with a slotted spoon and add to the pan with the zucchini and shrimp.
  • In a small bowl, pour about 50 ml (3 ⅓ tablespoons) of the shrimp broth and dissolve the saffron in it. Stir well.
  • Turn the heat back up under the sauce and finish cooking by adding the broth with the saffron and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Finally, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to taste and serve.
Nutrition
Serving: 100grams | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
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