Spring brings flowers and a craving for all things lemon! It’s also the season to celebrate Mom. Wine Guide Melissa Summar is back with a favorite cooking with wine recipe she loves, and that she enjoyed cooking with help from her kiddos in honor of Mother’s Day—lemony spaghetti with shrimp!
As my kids grow older, Mother’s Day becomes more and more special and fun. All three of them get so excited to make the day special for me. For the last eight years, since becoming a mom, we have gone on a picnic and just spent a nice day together. Oh, and all the homemade cards are seriously the best. Raise your hand if you have received a macaroni necklace—they are my favorite. I love how the day is just so simple and spent making memories. I can always count on being woken up to breakfast in bed, even if it’s just a piece of toast. Lucky for me, their cooking skills are improving.
In fact, my kids have recently voiced that they don’t like all the meals I’ve been preparing for them. I said, “Okay, you can start picking one day each week to help prepare a meal.” My oldest son cooked this past Monday. He made a lemon cake with lemon frosting and some cheeseburger sliders (the lemon cake paired perfectly with our Fissata Blonde, by the way, which is slightly bubbly which helped cut through the lemon and sweetness of the cake). He used a box cake mix and canned frosting, but it’s still a great exercise to get the kids in the kitchen practicing their reading and how to follow directions (there was a lot of licking the spoon as he was baking). The sense of pride on their faces is priceless!
Because of their newfound interest, I decided to invite the kids to learn a new dish with me, in honor of Mother’s Day. The question … what to make?
I recently discovered a chef by the name of Christopher Kimball. He makes simple recipes taste elegant. I came across one of his recipes, Spaghetti al Limone (fun to say in your best Italian accent!), and knew it was the one because it sounded incredibly easy to make. So easy in fact that even my three-year-old could help. The recipe calls for very simple ingredients and comes together quickly. I added shrimp to it for a protein punch.
While cooking this my oldest kept talking about how good it was smelling and asking if it was done yet. My sweet middle child just wanted to eat all the “yummy little shrimp” as he called them. I was most looking forward to the wine. This dish paired perfectly with my current favorite Traveling Vineyard wine, Jitterbug Sauvignon Blanc, California. It’s crisp, fruity, and slightly dry. The burst of grapefruit in my mouth always makes me dance around.
Back to cooking, here’s what you need to create your own Spaghetti al Limone based on Kimball’s recipe—plus my addition of shrimp (add in at Step 3 and cook until pink).
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 8 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
- 8 oz detailed, deveined, raw shrimp
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Follow the recipe instructions here and you’ll create this dish in a flash. My top tip? Don’t cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Drain it when it’s a minute or two shy of al dente; it will continue to cook in the skillet.
Our dish turned out perfect! It tasted like something you would order from a fancy Italian restaurant. I loved how simple the ingredients were and how quickly it came together—so the kids could help make something a little fancier, but still appealing and delicious. We added a nice salad with an Italian vinaigrette. Support a local bakery and grab a fresh loaf of bread and you have the perfect Mother’s Day dinner to wow any special mom in your life. I can totally see subbing the shrimp for grilled chicken breast as a protein alternative.
Don’t forget the wine! The high acid in this dish paired perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. It had just the right amount of spice from the red pepper flakes. It kept me coming back for more sips and bites and sips and bites!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! May your glass stay full. For more food and wine recipes, check out our Sommology food pairing tool and recipe library.