Lemon-Avocado Spaghetti with Shrimp

This image courtesy of Lucy Schaeffer

Spaghetti con avocado e gamberi Avocados aren't indigenous to Italy, but, as with tomatoes and corn, when these New World ingredients got there, the Italians did magical things with them. Lemons and red onions, classic southern Italian ingredients, here combine with this creamy newcomer to the Mediterranean for an alluring fusion of textures and aromas. The avocado is used raw, and creates a healthier, more flavorsome "cream." The red onions and lemon brightens the dish.

NotesRegion: Sicily and southern Italy




Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Type of Dishpasta


  • 1 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
  • 8 ounces (225 g) small shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 pound (455 g) spaghetti or any pasta, preferably Felicetti Monograno
  • 1 avocado
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a skillet large enough to hold the pasta, combine the onions and wine over medium heat and simmer until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and raise the heat to high to evaporate any remaining wine; cook until the onions are caramelized and the shrimp are cooked, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and salt to taste.

  2. Boil the pasta in salted water until it is al dente. Drain and toss with the onions.

  3. Meanwhile, peel and pit the avocado and puree it with the lemon juice, in a blender or small food processor until very smooth. Stir the mixture into the pasta and add half the lemon zest until well combined; re-season the dish with salt, if needed. Top the pasta with the remaining zest and pepper.


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The instructions for this dish weren't very good. I would caramelize the onions in the olive oil first, and then add shrimp, wine, and the rest. The onions never caramelized in the wine, too much liquid when the shrimp was added. I would not make this recipe again as written.


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