I first shared this shrimp scampi recipe back in 2014 and make it fairly regularly. This is a favorite dinner because it is relatively easy to make, comes together quickly and is always delicious. The key to this recipe is to avoid bagged, frozen shrimp and to take care not to overcook the shrimp.
- 1/2 lb pound of linguine
- 12 shrimp (thawed and deveined)
- 1/2 cup of white wine (a dry white works best)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 4 garlic cloves sliced thinly
- Zest of one lemon and juice from half a lemon
- Italian parsley (chopped),
- Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Step one is prep your food and peel your shrimp. The shrimp should not be frozen when you cook them. Next, boil a large pot of salted water for your pasta and add olive oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. While you wait for the water to boil, make your sauce and cook the shrimp. When the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced garlic and butter to the frying pan and stir to prevent the garlic from burning. If the pan seems too hot turn the temperature down slightly.
When you smell the garlic cooking and it turns a golden hue add your liquids: white wine and lemon juice. Wait one minute then add the shrimp, lemon zest a dash of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes (optional) in that order. Cover the pan and give it a good shake. After 1-2 minutes flip the shrimp and let them cook for another minute so both sides are pink. Then turn off the stove and add the parsley. Remove the pan from the heat (keeping it covered). The shrimp will continue to cook and this will keep everything warm.
The final step is to add the cooked linguine. Toss it so the pasta is coated with the sauce and parsley. If there isn’t enough liquid add half a ladle of the pasta water. This is why it is helpful to liberally salt your pasta water. The starchy, salty water will enhance and help extend the sauce. Then just before plating, drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta. This adds more flavor and a shine that is appealing.
It is easier to take the shell off the shrimp before they cook, but I keep the shell on and remove the shells after I turn off the heat (but before adding the parsley and pasta). I can do this quickly but it is very hot so for that reason I suggest shelling the shrimp before they are cooked. Just be mindful that when shrimp cook without their shell, they cook quickly and can get rubbery so be mindful of your cooking time.