Sunday, August 8, 2010

Recipe #26: Shrimp Scampi

This recipe is what my husband calls "an Amy classic." No one ever taught me how to make it -- in fact not a lot of the people in my family actually like seafood -- it's just something I love and can do well. I made it for my sister last summer, and it got rave reviews. (Chrissy, let me know when, and I'll make it again! :))

Enjoy -- hope it becomes one of your classics as well!

Shrimp Scampi
Cooking time: About 25 minutes
Serves 2-3

8 ounces dry spaghetti (half a regular-sized box)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces peeled, devained raw shrimp*
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup white wine*
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ shallot
Salt to taste, additional to salt pasta water
½ cup reserved pasta water*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
¼ cup chopped tomatoes (optional)

Large skillet or non-stick pan
Large pasta pot

Fill pasta pot with water, and add generous amount of salt. Prepare pasta as directed, drain in colander, reserving ½ cup of the salted water pasta cooked in. Do not rinse! While pasta is cooking…

Heat butter in large skillet or non-stick pan on medium heat. Toss shallots into butter, and cook until translucent. Add olive oil and garlic, and turn down heat to medium-low to avoid burning garlic. Add shrimp* and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Turn in pan to cook on both sizes. Add white wine*, lemon juice, garlic powder and onion salt and cook until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Toss with half of the parmesan cheese. If using tomatoes, add them now and allow to cook for a minute or two.

Once pasta is drained, add to pan with scampi, and pour in reserved pasta water.

Top with remaining cheese, toss with sauce to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

*Frozen shrimp: Please use whatever size shrimp are available to you. I hate recipes that specify sizes. Generally, I don’t use anything below 16-20 count, but it’s totally up to you, and if you’re making this more budget-friendly… use what’s on sale.

*White wine: You can use any type of white wine for this recipe. I prefer chardonnay, because if I drink wine, it’s my preferred variety. I wouldn’t cook with a wine I wouldn’t drink. You don’t have to spend $30 on a bottle, or even $20, but I would avoid the $3 shelf.

*Pasta water: As you read that, you might wonder why I ask you to reserve and use some of the water the pasta has been cooked in. I do have a reason. Adding pasta water lends a starchiness and flavor that you can’t get from regular water, and adding it to the scampi cuts the butter/oil texture from this recipe, so you aren’t left with half an inch of oil in the bottom of your pan. Just trust me on this one.

Note: You’ll see some of these pictures have tomatoes in them while some don’t. My husband refuses to eat his scampi with tomatoes. Loathes it. I have no idea why, since I’ve been eating tomatoes every which way since I was a kid. So the tomato-less scampi is my husband’s while the tomato-full scampi is mine.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am sure Brandon would LOVE this! I think I even have all the ingredients on hand too. Hmmm maybe I could be a good little wife and whip it up for him!