It’s Monday and life sucks. Is it just me or do you find it impossible to sleep through the night on Sunday? Even though I was perfectly satiated with my shrimp scampi dinner and early bedtime, I found myself awake and anxious every few hours last night. First it was 2am, then 4am and then 6am. At 6am is there really any point in going back to sleep? I’m a notoriously early riser, usually 7am weekdays and maybe 7:30 on the weekend. Sometime it’s great, I get lots done and other times I want to kill myself (others want to kill me) as I desperately try and get back to sleep. This morning was miserable, phone buzzing with emails from farther time zones and the week’s obligations looming. But there was shrimp scampi in the fridge to be photographed! Priorities.
Shrimp scampi is a dish I loved growing up. Buttery, garlicky goodness on a bed of linguini pasta. For years I made it in a frying pan but then read that the Barefoot Contessa BAKES her shrimp. So now I’ll never go back. There’s no way to really screw this up and the more garlic, wine, lemon and parsley you use…the better. The best method is to use an oven-safe skillet and then just add the pasta with a bit of cooking water to the bubbling hot shrimp.
You could certainly eat the shrimp without the pasta. Rice works as well.
Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
You will need:
2 serving dry linguini pasta
1/2 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3 Tablespoons butter – softened
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs Panko bread crumbs (or fresh bread crumbs)
5 gloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 dash red pepper flakes
1 whole lemon
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. When the water boils, cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, drain and set aside. MAKE sure to reserve at least 1/4 cup of the starchy cooking water.
2. Place the butter in a medium glass bowl (near the oven to soften). Zest the lemon and add the zest to a the glass bowl.
3. Juice the lemon and add it to a different bowl with the shrimp, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, wine, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
4. Add ½ cup bread crumbs, 2 Tablespoons parsley, all the garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes to the butter and zest mixture. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. The butter should be very soft.
5. Add the shrimp and all of the oil/wine marinade to a small nonstick skillet or baking dish. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and carefully spoon the butter/garlic evenly on top.
6. Cook for 12 minutes until bubbly. Add the remaining bread crumbs and finish under the broiler for 2 minutes to crisp.
7. Add the cooked pasta with ¼ cup of cooking water and olive oil as needed to the shrimp pan, combine and sprinkle the remaining parsley on top. Serve immediately.