Shrimp, Zucchini and Saffron Linguine

This dish is a summer classic featuring an incredible flavor combination: roasted zucchini, shrimp and saffron, in a creamy wine sauce.

Like other crustaceans, shrimp tend to spoil quickly and are often frozen at sea or even sold cooked. Whole shrimp deteriorates even quicker because the cephalothorax (the “head”) contains the midgut gland (corresponding to the liver), which contains digestive enzymes. This gland, however, also happens to be the most flavorful part of the shrimp*. For best results, choose the freshest whole shrimp – when the recipe calls for just tails (like in this case), use the heads to make a tasty fish broth.

*Harold McGee. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. 2nd edition (2004).

Shrimp, Zucchini and Saffron Linguine

Yield: 2 servings

Total Time: 25 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Shrimp, Zucchini and Saffron Linguine


  • 5 oz (140 g) shrimp tails, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cream (~30% fat)
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) white wine
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into sticks
  • 1 pouch powdered saffron (0.15 g)
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 140 g linguine (or your other favorite dried pasta)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Start bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 Tablespoon of coarse salt every 2 liters of water).
  2. Cook the shallot for 2 minutes in olive oil, then add the zucchini.
  3. Roast at high heat for 5-10 minutes tossing gently to prevent sticking.
  4. At this point, start cooking the pasta for the time indicated on the box.
  5. Add the shrimp, roast them on one side for 30 seconds, then flip them for another 30 seconds with a splash of wine.
  6. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside in a bowl, making sure you collect their juices.
  7. Add the saffron and the cream.
  8. Allow the sauce to reduce for 5 minutes at max heat. Adjust salt and pepper.
  9. When the pasta is just about ready, add the shrimp you had set aside along with their juices.
  10. Then, rapidly drain the pasta and toss it into the sauce.
  11. Mix gently for a minute or two until the pasta is uniformly coated.
  12. Dish out the pasta with the help of tongs, then pour any remaining sauce onto the dishes.
  13. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy with a glass of white wine!



10 thoughts on “Shrimp, Zucchini and Saffron Linguine”

  1. This looks really yummy. And I haven’t had it before, believe it or not. I think I have all the ingredients at home so… I’m going to give it a try.

    Interesting point on the anatomy of shrimp. I had always found that whole shrimp are tastier than the pre-cleaned variety–and now we know why!

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