Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce served over Angel hair pasta is a creamy match made in heaven. Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and starchy pasta water makes a velvety texture and bright flavor. Stir in some fresh and lively gremolata and top with tender shrimp and you’ve got an easy “restaurant feel” dinner.
You’re about 30 minutes away from a delightfully satisfying pasta dinner. Plan accordingly, and in the time it takes the pasta to cook, the creme fraiche sauce comes together and the shrimp is cooked.
Toss everything together and dig in. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of crisp white wine. It’s a perfect partner for pasta and creme fraiche.
Luscious creamy and lemony creme fraiche sauce tossed with delicate angel hair pasta is a beautiful “feel fancy” combination.
What is Creme Fraiche? Creme fraiche is a dairy product that is a richer and slightly less tangy version of sour cream.
Creme fraiche is simply French for Fresh Cream. It’s a thick cultured cream which is soured with a bacterial culture. Much like sour cream or Mexican crema. Offering a nutty and tangy flavor. It can be used as a condiment or thickener, or as a sauce, like this creme fraiche sauce for pasta.
Creme fraiche is easy to find at your local grocery store but did you know that you can easily make your own? Check out this creme fraiche recipe.
What is Gremolata? Gremolata is such a big word for such an easy fresh seasoning. It’s simply made of fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic. And it’s totally delightful.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Ingredients for Gremolata:
- Fresh Parsley
- Lemon Zest
- Fresh Garlic
For The Creme Fraiche Pasta:
- Angel Hair Pasta
- Creme Fraiche
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Cooked Shrimp
- Pasta: Use spaghetti in place of the Angel Hair Pasta. Or choose a fun shape like orecchiette.
- Shrimp: Crabmeat is another seafood that shines when paired with lemon and cream. Omit the seafood and substitute 1 cup of frozen peas to make this a vegetarian pasta dish.
- Bacon: Substitute some crumbled cooked bacon and chopped green onions in place of the seafood.
Step by Step Instructions – It’s Easy
- Step 1: Make the gremolata: In the bowl of a small food chopper, add the garlic. Pulse about 5 times or until rough chopped. Add parsley leaves and the zest of 1 lemon. Pulse about 20 times until medium chopped.
Pro-Tip: Can You Use Parsley Stems? Unlike cilantro, where the stems and leaves are similar in flavor, parsley stems don’t work well in most recipes. While parsley leaves are fresh and herbal, the stems are tougher in texture and have a much stronger and intense flavor. Which will over-power and alter the flavor of a recipe.
- Step 2: Make the Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce: Juice the lemon into a large bowl. Whisk in the crème fraîche and olive oil until combined.
- Step 3: Add the Parmesan, red-pepper flakes and reserved gremolata; mix until combined. Set aside.
- Step 4: Add the cooked reserved pasta to the creme fraiche sauce. Using tongs toss until the pasta is well covered in sauce. Add a little reserved pasta water to the sauce.
Pro Tip: Why is pasta water good for pasta sauce? Don’t throw all of that pasta cooking liquid down the drain, It’s liquid gold. It’s a must to add to any sauce for any pasta dish. It’s high in starch and this salty starchy water helps the sauce cling to the pasta while helping to thicken the sauce. It turns any pasta dish into a luxurious pasta dish.
- Step 5: Plate the meal: Grab your favorite pasta plates. Place pasta on the plate and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with parsley.
Creme fraiche is made from heavy cream while yogurt is made from milk. The culturing process used for each differs and affects the texture and flavor, making them different products in the end.
Sour cream. If you are going to substitute sour cream in this recipe, I’d suggest using Mexican Crema. It’s thinner in texture than sour cream and creme fraiche, but the flavor is somewhat similar.
Following this recipe, you’ll only use 1/2 of a container of creme fraiche. The remainder will last in the refrigerator up to a month to six weeks. Perfect for making another batch of creme fraiche sauce for pasta.
Yes and so easy. Simply purchase a gluten free pasta product. No need to alter any instructions for this recipe.
Store any leftover creme fraiche pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pasta will keep for 3 – 4 days. Angel hair pasta reheats beautifully in the microwave. Depending on the serving amount, allow 15 – 30 seconds.
I hope you give this creme fraiche sauce for pasta a try. Adding gremolata makes this a very special sauce and a very special dinner.
Creme Fraiche Pasta Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta and Shrimp
- For the gremolata:
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves loosely packed
- 1 clove garlic
- Zest of 1 lemon
- For the Pasta:
- ½ pound angel hair pasta about 1/2 box.
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
- Juice of one lemon about two tablespoons
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 16 large shrimp
- Flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish
- Using two sauce pans, put some water on to boil the spaghetti and the shrimp.
- Make the Gremolata: In the bowl of a small food chopper, add the garlic. Pulse about 5 times or until rough chopped. Add parsley leaves and the zest of 1 lemon. Pulse about 20 times until medium chopped.
- Juice the lemon into a large bowl. Whisk in the crème fraîche and olive oil until combined. Add the Parmesan, red-pepper flakes and reserved gremolata; mix until combined. Set aside.
- Cook the Angel Hair Pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- Cook the Shrimp: Peel, devein, remove tails. In a sauce pan with water, add a few leaves of parsley and the lemon that you've used to zest and juice. Let this mixture boil for 5 minutes and then add the shrimp and cook for two minutes. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside. Keep warm.
- Transfer the pasta to the bowl with the sauce. Add the sauce and toss to coat the noodles evenly, adding pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin sauce if needed.
- Transfer the pasta to individual plates. Add 4 shrimp per plate and garnish with additional Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and parsley. Serve immediately.
Pasta Sauce with Creme Fraiche … It’s What’s For Dinner.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Mmm … the gremolata makes this dish sing, Lea Ann!
The shrimp looks great. OMG isn’t Breaking Bad the best? Alexis and I binge watched the first two seasons and then watched the rest as they came out. Hated waiting each week! Are you watching the pre-quel show that’s on now – Better Call Saul? It starts off slow but it has gotten great the past few episodes. It really provides a ton of insight and sympathy for some of the players in Breaking Bad.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Haven’t seen Breaking Bad, but so many people have told me it’s terrific. Binge watching is the way to go — I used to resist, it, but it’s so satisfying, isn’t it? Can watch all weekend, taking just enough time to make a great dish like this for dinner! Good stuff — thanks.
Wow, does that sound good. I have a huge weakness for angel hair, and your recipe seems heavenly.
Hi Lea Ann, oh you always have the best shrimp recipes. This looks fabulous. Breaks are always good!!! Have a great week.
It’s great to take a break now and then when things get hectic. I’m thinking of one myself since we’re inundated with brithdays and holidays coming up. What a delicious pasta, Lea Ann, and thanks for the wine reco. We’re always looking for a reasonably priced good wine to try. Isn’t Breaking Bad amazing? The acting in fantastic. I never watched the series when it was on regular TV but caught up quickly when the Sundance Channel replayed it so I was able to catch up before the series finale.
Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says
Lovely pasta dish and perfect for nights when I’m tired or want something easy. Back in the day I made my creme fraiche too. It’s hard to find in NC so I continue to make it there. Happy Easter to you & Bob.
Not at all surprised bu Bob’s wine predicting abilities – we’ll look for it. The pasta dish looks delicious and pretty simple to make. I haven’t looked in a while, but haven’t found crème fraîche in one of our normal markets – can probably find in Knoxville.
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
OMG! We really need to get together. There is no excuse. I love Breaking Bad. We watched the whole thing in like a month, I think. Love this dish. I couldn’t eat it though while watching the show. I get too nervous!
Karen Harris says
OMG, i love Breaking Bad. How fun to be able to watch it from start to finish without those pesky season finales getting in the way. Ah, Walter White and this shrimp dish. The makings of a great night.
Adam J. Holland says
I doubt that even the great Heisenberg could create such a … pure concoction as this. 😉
You had me at gremolata – my favorite combination of flavors. And with creamy shrimp … oh la la. Love the wine recommendation as well. We binge watched Breaking Bad on Netflix and I almost wanted to start it over. Loved it!
Glad you posted this…..looks delicious along with that wine that didn’t make it to the table. We love Breaking Bad and have recently thought that we needed to rewatch the series from the beginning. Also need to start Better Call Saul…..
Lea Ann Brown says
I’m obsessed with BB. We’ve just started on Season 3. We’ll get to Better Call Saul as soon as we’re depressed that there are no more BB’s to watch. 🙂