For our anniversary this past month (9 years!), I decided to make my husband a special dinner. He loves shrimp and it is one of those things I just don't cook with very much. The only other shrimp dish I have made this summer was the Teriyaki Shrimp Skewers and he made a comment about having shrimp more often. I took a mental note and decided that Shrimp Scampi was the perfect anniversary dinner to make. And it was so delicious. And so easy. Seriously, who knew that a dish that sounds so fancy smansky and is usually only ordered in restaurants could be so easy to make at home?
If you aren't used to cooking with shrimp, here are a couple of tips. Purchase the large (21/25 shrimp per pound) frozen shrimp (they usually come in 1 or 2 pound bags and are sold in the freezer chests right by the seafood department). The frozen shrimp are much fresher because they are immediately frozen after processing, and they are already peeled AND deviened. This saves A LOT of time and effort, so just take my word and purchase the frozen shrimp. I like to leave the tails on (gives your tongs something to grab onto when flipping them in the pan) but that is totally personal preference - you can remove them if you want.
Recipe from Annie's Eats
3/4 lb. linguine or long pasta of your choice (I like thin spaghetti)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3-4 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
Zest of ½ a lemon
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet or saute pan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, just until golden and fragrant. Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and season with the salt and pepper. As soon as the down-facing side of the shrimp turns pink, flip with tongs to cook the second side evenly. As soon as the shrimp is pink and opaque, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the shrimp pan and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
I served the shrimp scampi on these lovely plates I got on clearance at TJMaxx (you know, where you get the max for the minimum, minimum price?). Sorry, couldn't help myself, it's been stuck in my head since the 90s.
Do you want to know how much we liked this dish?
The empty plate says it all. I will be making this again. It was easy, affordable, quick (less than 30 minutes to make), DELICIOUS, and fancy. Perfect for an anniversary dinner. It would have been more perfect if the boys were actually in their beds sleeping while we ate it, instead of pretending their bunk beds were a play set. There is always hope for next year :)
Next time you need a good dinner to entertain with, or to celebrate a special occasion, or just because you are looking for a new recipe to try - this is the one. Enjoy!