The Best Size Of Shrimp For Pasta Dishes

Perfectly cooked shrimp can bring elegance and sophistication to simple bowls of pasta. Take the classic and comforting spicy shrimp scampi cooked with butter and parsley and plated gently over a serving of noodles. Or pair shrimp with scallops to serve up a decadent scampi recipe that is sure to warm the hearts and stomachs of seafood lovers. However you prepare it, pasta served with seafood can elevate typical weekday dinners.

But as tempting as it might be to cook up whatever sized shrimp you can find at the store to toss them quickly into bowls of linguini, not all shrimp are created equal, especially when it comes to pasta-based meals. Since you're already taking time to cook up a delicious meal that is intended to impress guests, the extra effort to make sure all of your ingredients can hold their own in a bowl of noodles will pay off.

The perfect mouthful

According to Lobster Anywhere, shrimp sizes most commonly found at markets include mini, medium, large, jumbo, and colossal. Southern Living suggests that if you're looking to combine shrimp with pasta or a stew, reach for the medium to large sized shrimp. This category of shrimp will land 35 to 41 pieces in one pound, and the bigger size means an easier time for diners to nail the creatures with a fork or scoop them up in a spoon. Shrimp that is too small is at risk of becoming "lost" in plates of noodles and bowls of broth and can result in some pretty disappointing mouthfuls.

Fulton Fish Market advises that medium and large shrimp are perfect for shrimp scampi recipes and take only above five minutes to sear in a pan. If you don't have access to fresh shrimp, frozen shrimp in medium and large sizes can be purchased and easily incorporated into the meal you're preparing to serve.