Shrimp Portofino

Indulgence Unleashed: Mastering the Art of Shrimp Portofino

Dive into the culinary elegance of Shrimp Portofino, a dish that captures the essence of coastal dining with its succulent shrimp, luscious lemon butter sauce, and a symphony of complementary flavors. Originating from the picturesque port city of Portofino in Italy, this recipe promises a gourmet experience that elevates your home-cooked meal to a restaurant-worthy feast. Join us on a gastronomic adventure as we unravel the secrets to creating the perfect Shrimp Portofino.

Ingredients for Shrimp Portofino

For the Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is always best)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (only wine you would drink)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sautéed Shrimp Mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons real butter
  • 1-4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pound capellini (angel hair) pasta, cooked according to package directions


Preparing the Lemon Butter Sauce:

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add minced shallot and garlic, sautéing until softened and aromatic.
  3. Pour in the lemon juice and white wine, allowing the mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the heavy cream. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, ensuring not to boil.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and set the lemon butter sauce aside.

Sautéing the Shrimp Mixture:

  1. In a large skillet, melt real butter over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, sautéing until fragrant.
  2. Incorporate the sliced mushrooms into the skillet, cooking until they release their moisture and become tender.
  3. Add jumbo shrimp to the skillet, cooking until they turn pink and opaque.
  4. Toss in the baby spinach leaves, allowing them to wilt in the heat. Ensure the spinach is evenly distributed.
  5. Combine the sautéed shrimp mixture with the prepared lemon butter sauce, coating the ingredients evenly.

Serving the Shrimp Portofino:

  1. Serve the shrimp mixture over cooked capellini pasta, creating a stunning presentation.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Citrus Bliss: Enhance the lemony freshness by adding grated lemon zest to the sauce just before serving.
  • Herbaceous Harmony: Introduce fresh herbs like chopped parsley or basil for a burst of flavor and visual appeal.
  • Wine Wisdom: Choose a dry white wine you enjoy drinking, as the quality of the wine contributes significantly to the flavor of the sauce.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Shrimp Portofino

  • Butter Brilliance: Embrace the richness of butter in both the sauce and the shrimp mixture to align with keto-friendly high-fat preferences.
  • Creamy Indulgence: Use full-fat heavy cream to maintain the luscious texture of the sauce while adhering to keto principles.
  • Vegetable Vibrance: Increase the quantity of spinach and mushrooms for a low-carb, high-fiber balance.

Low-Carb Shrimp Portofino

  • Pasta Swap: Substitute traditional capellini pasta with spiralized zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles for a low-carb alternative.
  • Portion Control: Focus on generous portions of shrimp, mushrooms, and spinach while moderating the quantity of pasta for a lower-carb option.
  • Almond Flour Crust: Consider a light dusting of almond flour on the shrimp before sautéing for a delicate crust without adding carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use frozen shrimp? Certainly! Thaw frozen shrimp thoroughly before cooking to ensure even cooking and optimal flavor.

Q2: What other pasta can I use? While capellini is traditional, feel free to experiment with linguine, fettuccine, or your favorite pasta shape.

Q3: Can I make the sauce in advance? Absolutely! Prepare the lemon butter sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before combining with the shrimp mixture.

Q4: Can I omit the pine nuts? Yes, if you have allergies or prefer not to use pine nuts, the dish will still be delightful without them.

Q5: Can I use pre-cooked shrimp? Certainly! Adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent overcooking the pre-cooked shrimp.

Shrimp Portofino isn’t just a recipe; it’s a culinary masterpiece that captures the essence of coastal Italy. From the luxurious lemon butter sauce to the succulent shrimp and vibrant vegetables, each element contributes to a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate. Whether you follow the classic recipe or embark on keto and low-carb adaptations, Shrimp Portofino is an ode to the indulgence of fine dining in the comfort of your home. So, set the table, uncork a bottle of your favorite white wine, and let Shrimp Portofino transport you to the sun-kissed shores of the Italian Riviera. Mangia!

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