Shrimp Scampi

I hate to brag, but I was once told (recently) that my shrimp scampi was better than the nice Italian restaurant’s that we were at. WHAT a compliment!!! Due to the fact that this meal is absolutely delicious (and the fact that I have 4 bags of frozen jumbo shrimp in my freezer), we have it a lot around here.

The scampi sauce has a slight sweetness that is barely noticeable and I think that is one reason it is so delicious. The sweetness helps to counteract the zing from all them tasty lemon. I have been pondering why this is so for months and have recently come to a conclusion about why my recipe has a certain sweetness to it. I think it because when I zest my lemon, I am quite careful to only get the zest, and none of the rind, which easily happens if you zest more than one time in a spot. This may make no sense at all, but that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Scampi is quick and easy, and most of the ingredients are a staple at our house. Serve it over a bed of angel hair pasta and alongside a salad and bread. You can always ditch the angel hair and it with couscous, rice or risotto, or you could serve the shrimp a la carte. Tonight, we had steamed broccoli to accompany our lemony shrimps and pasta.

Ingredients (serves 4)

*The shrimp can be fresh or frozen and whatever size you want – but I would suggest medium to jumbo since shrimp shrink when cooked.

  • About 20-25 shrimp, deveined and shells removed
  • Zest of 4 lemons
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. Gourmet Garden Italian Herb Paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 splashes of white wine
  • Parmesan, for topping
  • Pasta (angel hair or thin spaghetti is best, but spaghetti will do as well)

Directions

Devein and remove the shells from the shrimp. Mince the garlic. Zest the lemons (I use a microplane). Juice the lemons.

In a large Ziploc bag marinate the shrimp with 2 tsp. lemon zest, a few shakes onion powder, 1 tsp. herb paste, 1 clove minced garlic, a few dashes of salt and pepper, a splash of white wine (I use pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc), and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Mix around in the bag to distribute the marinade. Let marinate at least 20 minutes.

In a sauté pan combine the rest of the herb paste, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and a splash of white wine. Simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes.

Put the pasta on and allow it to cook.

With about 5 minutes to go until the pasta is ready, pour the shrimp and marinade into a pan that has been heated over medium to medium-high heat (I use my cast iron pan). Cook the shrimp until just pink, about 4 minutes. Add the butter to the scampi sauce and stir it until it is smooth and the butter has melted.

Serve the shrimp and scampi sauce on top of the pasta. Enjoy!

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