Shrimp scampi...

by - Monday, March 27, 2017

Single living in my first apartment, food preparation usually consisted of a drive to my local Boston Market where I would purchase half a roast chicken, Caesar salad, and side order of creamed spinach. While my dinner would be the salad and spinach with a few slivers of chicken, lucky was my cat who enjoyed the majority of the bird! Cooking involved company, that is, two or more people for dinner. Why should I make a fuss for a solo meal? 

One of the first recipes I tried back then was shrimp scampi. With so many versions of this Italian - American dish, the basic ingredients are always simple with a quick prep and plate. Having made this dozens of times over the years, the perfect balance of delicate flavor and light fare make this an easy weeknight meal equally fit for impromptu company, paired with white wine and loaf of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. See for yourself...

Shrimp Scampi & Thin Spaghetti

thin spaghetti, cooked to package directions
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons light olive oil
zest & juice of 1 lemon
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley, loosely packed
salt & pepper to taste 
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash table blend

1) Prepare all your ingredients, and bring water for the pasta to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add a little salt and olive oil to the water and slide in the spaghetti. The pasta cooks in about ten minutes while you will sauté the shrimp so it can all blend together in the skillet at the end.

2) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and melt the butter together. Over medium heat, add the shrimp and season with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Throw in the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Turn the shrimp so that both sides cook and they begin to turn pink in color. Toss in the parsley and mix. I like to add the parsley later rather than before so its green color maintains vibrancy and the leaves do not completely wilt.

3) By this time, (about ten minutes or as per package directions) the pasta will be al dente. Drain and transfer with thongs into the skillet with the shrimp.

4) After gently tossing the spaghetti in with the shrimp, keep over medium heat for just a minute or two so the pasta absorbs the lemon butter and garlic flavors.

That's it! Ready to serve right from the skillet! Hot, juicy shrimp curled up in a nest of lemon butter with bursts of garlic and parsley. All the flavors in the mix are distinctive and delectable. Tear off a nice chunk of that crusty bread to finish off all those tasty morsels left in your plate. No bit left behind!

Shrimp scampi is a perfect meal for the Lenten season, fish on Fridays, or any night that calls for a little something simple, special, and savory. Enjoy! xoxo-Sonya

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