For those busy days when you think there is no way you can prepare dinner because you are either too tired or don’t have enough time, think about making Shrimp Scampi With Spaghetti And Garlicky Breadcrumbs. In 30 minutes or less, you can have a delicious meal on your dinner table that will get rave reviews from those you serve it to.
Succulent shrimp are sautéed with butter, olive oil, garlic, white wine and lemon juice then tossed with spaghetti or your favorite pasta and finished with a sprinkling of garlicky breadcrumbs that add both taste and texture to the spaghetti. The nice thing about this recipe is that if you do a little planning when purchasing your food for the week, everything you need comes from staples you have in your pantry, fridge or freezer. The Italian word “scampi” refers to a particular type of shellfish found in Italy but in the US, the word “scampi” usually refers to a dish prepared with shrimp, butter, garlic and wine that has been popular in Italian-American restaurants for years. You will often see scampi served as an appetizer along with toasted bread for sopping up the tasty sauce or served over linguine or spaghetti as an entrée. This pasta dish is so quick and easy to prepare that you should skip ordering it in a restaurant and make it at home. Both your family and pocketbook will thank you. When you have a recipe that cooks very quickly, it is important that you have all your ingredients prepped ahead of time and sitting next to your stove.
Shrimp Scampi With Spaghetti
Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil plus an additional 2 Tbsp. for the pasta
- 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can cut them in half if using very large shrimp)
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes or to taste
- 1 tsp. anchovy paste, optional
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1/2 c. shrimp broth*
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (I used 2 Tbsp. of the lemon juice)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 3 oz. dry spaghetti, per person (amount depends on personal preference)
- 1/4 c. Garlicky breadcrumbs**
*To add extra flavor, buy shrimp with the shells on and peel them yourself. Put the shells in a small pot with a cup of water and boil them until the liquid is reduced by half and use it when preparing the sauce. You could also use clam broth, if desired. **To make the breadcrumbs, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a small sauté pan and add 1 garlic clove finely minced. Cook about 30 seconds and then add 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (or homemade breadcrumbs) and cook until they just start to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste, mix well and remove from the heat. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve a little of the pasta water that may be needed for the sauce. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Toss well with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and the lemon zest. (Keep warm if ready before the sauce is finished). In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste, oregano, salt and pepper to the pan and cook about 30 seconds. Add the wine, shrimp broth, and lemon juice and cook until reduced to sauce like consistency, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and the reserved shrimp and toss well. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water. Place the pasta into bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley, breadcrumbs and serve.
You might wish to serve this pasta dish with grated cheese at the table but most Italians don’t think you should combine cheese and shellfish. I will leave that to your individual taste. All that is really needed to complete this meal would be a mixed green salad, some crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine. Even though you may be tired from a hard day’s work, you will have a terrific dinner ready to serve to your family in short order.