There are a few things that I always have on hand in my house – and those are pasta, garlic and a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer. When I have unexpected guests over, I often put something like this together because its delicious and quick. I’ve added a few extra ingredients here to make this extra delicious, like a wine reduction and some fresh parsley, that makes this simple meal a real crowd pleaser.
We’ll sear the shrimp quickly so they are cooked perfectly, and then create the sauce using a white wine reduction with some butter. Spare the good stuff here! I usually keep a three or four liter jug of Carlo Rossi Chablis that I use just for cooking. This reduction, with a few pats of butter melted in will create a creamy and flavorful sauce for the spaghetti to finish cooking in. Some lemon will help to elevate the flavor of the shrimp and the fresh parsley will add texture and a fresh bite to the pasta and it will leave you giving the chef’s kiss to this plate. As always, DON’T THROW OUT THE PASTA WATER! You can adjust the amount in this recipe to achieve the texture of pasta and creaminess of sauce that you like! Enjoy!
Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 4-6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons butter
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped roughly, divided (about 1 small bunch)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 lbs fresh or frozen jumbo shrimp 16-20 count, defrosted and cleaned
- Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Set a large frying pan on another burner.
- When the water is boiling, turn the flame down to a medium-low setting so the water remains at a gentle boil. Meanwhile, we’ll start the sauce. Turn the heat on the frying pan on to a medium flame. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and swirl to coat the pan.
- Working in batches, quickly sear the shrimp, careful not to overcrowd the pan, cooking just until each side turns pink and releases naturally from the pan. This should take about 1 minute per side. If necessary, re-oil the pan in between batches. Sear all of the shrimp and set aside. (If you notice the bits in the pan burning, adjust your heat down).
- Your pasta water should still be at a gentle boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, red pepper flakes to taste, and your sliced garlic. Sautee until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine to the saucepan to deglaze. As the wine reduces (about 8-10 minutes), we’ll cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water, sporadically stirring as the sauce thickens. We’ll undercook the pasta just slightly and allow it to finish cooking in the sauce.
- After about 8 minutes you should notice that the wine has reduced in volume by about 1/2. Add in the butter and allow it to melt. Add in the lemon juice and stir.
- At this point, your pasta should be just slightly undercooked. Carefully transfer the pasta into the frying pan with tongs or a fine mesh sieve. Toss the pasta in the sauce. Fill a coffee mug about 1/2 way with pasta water (about 1 cup worth) and add it to the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to absorb completely into the pasta.
- When the sauce has absorbed, taste the pasta to ensure that it is cooked to your liking. If it too al dente for your taste, you can always add an additional cup of pasta water and allow this to absorb into the sauce to cook the pasta further.
- When the pasta is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat add about 1/2 the chopped parsley and toss to combine. Add about 1/2 the shrimp and toss again.
- Plate and garnish with remaining parsley and shrimp. Serve immediately.