What’s Cooking at Third Coast: Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta, Quick and Delicious

Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta, garnished with Kalamata olives and grape tomatoes.
You have to love a pasta dish that’s quick and delicious. I recently discovered Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta on Food52.com and I’ve made it several times. In fact, I recently made it for dinner when I got home after a day of travel nightmares (flights canceled and delayed). I was hungry and I had a fine entree ready in 15 minutes, along with a green salad. That made for a soft landing at the end of a tough day. The ingredients are just pasta, butter, chicken stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you want to add a little protein to the dish, you can also thaw and saute a few shrimp.

Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta

Two servings

3-4 tablespoons butter
4 ounces broken angel hair pasta or filini – 1 cup
2 cups hot chicken stock or a little less
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste – about one half large juicy lemon or slightly more
Grape tomatoes and/or Kalamata olives

Optional: 10-12 large shrimp, uncooked and tail on
1-2 tbsp butter

  1. Melt the butter in saucier or medium sauce pan. Break up the pasta into bite-sized lengths, about 1 to 2 inches each or use filini (short lengths of fine pasta). Toss the pasta in the butter until it is well-coated.
  2. Pour in the hot stock and grind in the pepper. Cover and cook over very low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice. The pasta should have a distinct lemon flavor. If your stock wasn’t very salty and you’d like more, add a little salt to taste.
  4. Garnish with grape tomatoes and/or kalamata olives.
  5. If you want to add shrimp, use raw shrimp, deveined and tail on. I like Trader Joe’s version–they come 21-30 to the pound. Thaw the shrimp briefly and it’s easy to pull the tails off. Then saute them in sizzling butter just until they turn pink and lose their translucence. Don’t overcook. (That’s why I don’t like to use precooked shrimp. They get tough and overcooked too quickly.)
Nancy S Bishop
Nancy S Bishop

Nancy S. Bishop is publisher and Stages editor of Third Coast Review. She’s a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and a 2014 Fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can read her personal writing on pop culture at nancybishopsjournal.com, and follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. She also writes about film, books, art, architecture and design.


  1. I’m personally not crazy about mushrooms but if you are, go for it. I’d saute some sliced fresh mushrooms in butter and arrange them around the pasta rather than blending them in.

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