Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

This is one of my husband's favorite dishes I make.

1 pound of angel hair or thin spaghetti (I like to use multi-grain or whole wheat pasta, it's healthier)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 pound of medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of dry white wine, like a Pinot Grigio
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp of butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add some salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta you are using. (Always double check the directions on the box.) Before you drain the pasta, reserve a couple of ladles of the pasta water for later.

While the pasta is cooking, mix the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Add half the mixture to the shrimp, stir to make sure all of them are covered. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes, turning halfway through. Shrimp doesn't take long to cook. Once they are bright pink and curled up, no longer opaque, they are done. You don't want to overcook shrimp or else they become rubbery.

Remove the shrimp from the pan and onto a plate, reserve. Turn the burner to medium and pour the rest of the oil mixture to the pan. Add a couple of pinches of the crushed red pepper. (Use your own hot meter to decide how much.) After a minute or two, the garlic should be a golden brown, add the wine. Cook for another minute, allowing the alcohol to cook off. Add the reserved pasta water, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook for another minute. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shrimp back to the pan, stir to coat and reheat. Add the drained pasta and toss well. Check for seasoning.

Distribute the scampi among 4 plates or bowls, top with fresh parmesan cheese and more fresh parsley, if you like.

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