Shrimp scampi, a classic Italian preparation served with spaghetti or crusty bread for dipping into the buttery sauce, causes confusion due to its name. Technically, “scampi” is the term for a crustacean species larger than shrimp but smaller than lobster. Langoustine is another name for them, but they are scarce. It’s fine to prepare the dish with large shrimp. Be careful not to overcook. The goal is to enhance shrimp’s natural sweetness, not turn them into miniature rubber crescents. Quickly sauté the shrimp until it becomes plump. Bathed in lemon butter sauce, embraced by the aroma of garlic, isn’t this comfort food defined?
Enjoy this most luscious of dishes! Yes, there is half a stick of butter in it, but that’s the defining element. The parsley makes it almost healthy-ish.
Classic Shrimp Scampi Recipe
4 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, papery skin removed, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lbs extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
Melt butter with olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until aroma is noticeable, about 30 seconds. Add wine, salt, pepper, and red pepper and simmer until liquid thickens slightly and is reduced by half.
Add shrimp to skillet and sauté until they turn pink and edges are very slightly browned. Timing depends on size of shrimp and your cooktop. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over spaghetti, nestled against mashed potatoes, or with crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
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Award-winning Chick Lit author Emily Kemme writes about the quirks of human nature. Find musings, recipes, and satire on her blog, Feeding the Famished. Novels | Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage | In Search of Sushi Tora | Other works in progress