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Shrimp Scampi

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Shrimp Scampi is a classic Italian-American dish that features succulent shrimp sautéed in a garlic, lemon, and white wine sauce. This dish is quick to prepare yet elegant enough for a special occasion. It’s perfect for a romantic dinner or a delightful meal with friends. Here’s a detailed recipe to help you make this delicious dish.


Ingredients:

For the Shrimp Scampi:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • Lemon zest for garnish

For Serving:

  • 8 ounces linguine or spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions until al dente.
  2. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and set aside.

2. Cook the Shrimp:

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

3. Make the Scampi Sauce:

  1. In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Pour in the white wine and chicken broth (if using), and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes (if using).
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.

4. Combine and Serve:

  1. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet, stirring to coat them in the sauce.
  2. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water, a little at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Stir in the chopped parsley and basil (if using).
  4. Garnish with lemon zest and additional parsley, if desired.

5. Optional Accompaniments:

  • Serve the Shrimp Scampi with a side of crusty bread for dipping in the sauce.
  • A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette pairs well with this dish.

Conclusion: Shrimp Scampi is a delightful dish that combines the bright flavors of lemon and garlic with tender shrimp and perfectly cooked pasta. This recipe is quick and easy, making it ideal for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. Enjoy this delicious meal with a glass of white wine for a truly memorable dining experience. Buon appetito!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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