Shrimp Scampi

So in my haste to get some of these posts out, I forgot to mention some vital news! Ok, it’s not really that vital, but for anyone else out there that is also a photography enthusiast, I got a new camera lens! The Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D to be specific and it has taken some really great pictures. It’s really a great lens and comes at a very affordable price. I have been using it for some of my more recent posts. Ok, now back to the kitchen!

When I posted the Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipe, I forgot to discuss how I go about buying shrimp. I always buy my shrimp frozen. That way I am able to take it home and pop it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. Shrimp thaws much faster than chicken, beef or pork. Usually if you take it out like an hour or so before cooking it should be thawed in time to start cooking. The other reason that I buy my shrimp frozen is that I know how long it has been since it was thawed. Unless you live in an area that has lots of fresh shrimp, your grocery store receives its shrimp frozen and then thaws it for the seafood counter. So if you want the freshest shrimp, buy frozen and thaw yourself. I usually get mine at Costco, because they have a 2-pound bag of frozen 31/40 tail-on, peeled shrimp for a little under $20, especially when it’s on sale. Now you might be wondering, “What does 31/40 mean?!” It’s actually quite simple. The numbers are a range which tell you the number of similarly sized shrimp that you will find in one pound. So, 31/40 means that one pound of shrimp will yield between 31 and 40 shrimp. So, the higher the number, the smaller the shrimp, and the lower the number, the bigger the shrimp.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can talk about this recipe. I adapted it from the Barefoot Contessa. I think I had just graduated college when I first made this, and my siblings and I made it for our parent’s anniversary. This turned out much better than the cocktails I made. Turns out that recipe called for “1 cup bottle vodka” NOT “1 bottle vodka.” Whoops! Our parents loved the dinner, as did my siblings and I, so we knew it wasn’t just because our parents were lit from the potent beverages we served them beforehand. I hadn’t made this recipe in quite some time, so figured I’d make it again. I think this recipe might be even simpler than the Shrimp Fra Diavolo. So, if you’re looking for something quick and delicious that will surely impress your guests, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Then again, you might like it so much that you’ll want to just make it for yourself.

Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti

A delicious and refreshing recipe that is full of flavor from the lemon juice and zest. If you’re cooking for one, this recipe reheats well for a delicious lunch or dinner the next day. You can always use angel hair or linguine too.

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp, tail-on, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, in large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, salt and pepper. Saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. When the pasta is done, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water and transfer cooked pasta to the pot. Return to heat, add the reserved pasta water, and cook, tossing constantly until sauce has thickened and coats the spaghetti. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti
Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti
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