Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Fettucini

Shrimp Scampi has to be one of the easiest ways ever to cook shrimp for dinner, and since I use lots of garlic and serve it over pasta it's naturally one of my favorites. (Sorry, no picture. We gobbled it all up!)

Sometimes the recipes with the fewest ingredients are the very best. They're also unforgiving: They must be cooked just right or it'll be a disaster. The secret to this dish is DON'T OVER-COOK THE SHRIMP! They should be pink and tender, no more than 2 or 3 minutes per side!

And don't over-cook the fettucini, either. It, like all pasta, needs to be "al dente", cooked only until it gives slight resistance when you bite it, not totally soft. (Did you know that overcooked pasta can cause indigestion?)

Makes 4 large servings

  • 1 pound fettucini
  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined (about 16 to 24 jumbo shrimp, 20 to 25 large shrimp)
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp sweeet (unsalted) butter
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (vermouth is good)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Rinse shelled, deveined shrimp in cold water and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot (about 6 quarts) over high heat, cook fettucini in rapidly boiling, salted water until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir to make sure pasta separates. Drain very quickly in a colander (leaving about 1/2 cup of the water) and place in large serving bowl.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and put shrimp into the pan all at once, quickly spreading to a single layer. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over (tongs work well for this, but you have to be quick) and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth, left over pasta liquid and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest, pepper flakes, green onions and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, taste to see if you need more salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Pour scampi mixture over the fettucini, toss to combine, and serve immediately with warm crusty bread.

Buen provecho!

If you have a favorite recipe for a Mexican or Mexican-inspired dish, I'd love to add it to our recipe box! email (and put "recipe" in the subject box so I'll know what it's about)
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