Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

I didn't like shrimp growing up. Or maybe, I just didn't have the occasion to like it. My mom is very allergic, so we understandably never ate it at home. And when we went to restaurants, I guess I just didn't want to try it. But in the last few years I've been cooking it more and more, and in many different ways. It's so versatile, soaks up flavors like a sponge, and is relatively healthy, so shrimp is finding it's way to my dinner table more often than not. This Shrimp Scampi Pasta dish isn't the most healthy of the shrimp meals I've made (6 tablespoons of butter will do that) but it is very flavorful. Lots of lemony brightness, a touch of heat, and garlicky, buttery shrimpy deliciousness makes this a new favorite pasta dish. The recipe is from Ina, and I only changed it a smidge. She used linguine, but my husband and I are angel hair people. Use whatever pasta you like! 

1.5 pounds angel hair pasta (or pasta of your choice)
6 Tbsps unsalted butter
5 Tbsps olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt & pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Zest from one lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Get your pasta going first. Oil, salt, water, you know the drill. Cook according to the directions. In the meantime, start melting your butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute, making sure not to burn the garlic. If you want, you could actually remove it from the heat and let the garlic and butter do a mind meld for awhile to increase the garlic flavor. Or just keep going through if you're hungry-- it's still going to be plenty garlicky. Add the shrimp, 1 tbsp salt and about a half teaspoon of pepper and cook about five minutes, until the shrimp just turns a little pink. Then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and red pepper flakes. Add a little more of the red pepper flakes if you like it spicy (you know I do!). Make sure it's well combined and then add your drained pasta into the pot, tossing and stirring to coat every noodle. You could serve it with a sliced lemon if your guest wants even more lemon flavor, or put a few sliced lemons on top for prettiness. Hope you love it as much as we did! 

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