My husband is completely crazy about shrimp. He might like it even more than dessert! His mom likes to tell the story of when they took him to a restaurant as a one year old and he scarfed down more shrimp than everyone else in the family. Sadly, I don't cook shrimp all that often because I absolutely hate cleaning it, but today we saw easy peel shrimp on sale at the store and I decided to give it a try. With a pair of rubber gloves to shield me from the horror, pulling off the shells wasn't bad at all! My husband rejoices since this probably means shrimp more often!
Anyway, when I saw the shrimp I immediately thought of this recipe. The first time I made Shrimp Scampi was the day after Christmas of 2006 when my husband (then boyfriend) flew down to Washington to meet my family for the first time. We went snowboarding with my brother and cousin that day, then I made this for dinner since he loves pasta almost as much as he loves shrimp. It was completely delicious and a great end to a very busy and wonderful day. This recipe (tweaked from this AllRecipes recipe) is really easy and quick to make, but it always seems really special when I make it.
I should mention that this is not a really strong tasting pasta dish. The flavors all work together perfectly- the wine, parmesan, shrimp, butter, pepper, and parsley truly turn into something magical- but the flavors are not as bold as those found in some Shrimp Scampis I've had at restaurants. If you want to punch it up, at the end you could add things like lemon juice, diced fresh tomato, and red pepper flakes. Mind you, I've never made it that way because we love it as is, but I am certain it would be delicious.
Quick note: On AllRecipes, a lot of the reviewers complained that the wine in this recipe is overpowering. I've always made it with the full amount and we've never found the wine overpowering, but if you're sensitive to that kind of thing, you may want to use 3/4 C. I'd imagine a big part of it is the type of wine used. So far I've always ended up using an inexpensive white wine (tonight was a cheap pinot grigio) but a good quality wine probably tastes stronger. Use your own judgment!
2 8 oz packages fresh linguine (the kind sold in the refrigerated section of the store OR homemade)
6 T butter
1 lb peeled and cleaned shrimp
4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 to 1 C white wine
salt to taste (I use 1/2 t)
1/4 t pepper (freshly ground is best)
3 oz by weight freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 oz set aside
3 T minced fresh parsley
Cook linguine in lightly salted water while you make the scampi.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and garlic, and cook just until shrimp is pink on both sides. Add wine and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol. Stir in salt and pepper. Add drained linguine and toss thoroughly to coat. It will look very runny, but don't fear! Stir in 2 oz of the cheese and all of the parsley. The melted parmesan will thicken it up perfectly. Serve with the rest of the parmesan to sprinkle on top.
Yield: 5 servings