Shrimp Scampi recipe – Rich buttery shrimp soaked in aromatic garlic infused sauce is a treasure trove of complex flavours. Renowned as Shrimp Scampi on a bowl of pasta, it is one of a classic kind.
This beautiful silky smooth briny dish is like a breath of fresh air from the shores of the sea.
What is Garlic butter Shrimp Scampi?
Garlic butter Shrimp Scampi is one of those classic fusions of Italian and American cuisine, where the techniques are of Italy and the ingredients are American.
In Italy, it was more of the tiny lobster-like crustaceans with pale pink shells called langoustines buttered with garlic.
It began with scampi and then people started using shrimp that was easily available. From then on, arose various additions like tomatoes, breadcrumbs and so on.
The traditional way is to sauté them with olive oil, garlic, onion and white wine. The white wine helps in balancing the sauce.
Shrimp Scampi is usually served on a bed of pasta or it serves really well by itself.
Reason to love Scampi Recipe:
- You can sauté a Shrimp Scampi in no time, while the only big effort is in deveining the shrimps.
- Shrimp Scampi is a very versatile dish, with no hard and fast rules. It can win over your taste buds even without pasta.
- They can be the perfect sumptuous appetisers.
- With shrimp in stock, I could make this any day, since the rest of the ingredients are always in my pantry (excluding the wine).
- Instead of wine, adding the stock (chicken or crustacean) will always elevate your dish to an entirely different level of flavours.
Ingredients & The Notes:
- Shrimp: Big or small shrimps, it is all up to you. It is called by different names in different regions like prawns and shrimp in some parts of the world. If you don’t live along the coastal lines, frozen shrimps will do.
- Olive Oil: You can preferably use extra virgin olive oil. Try not to substitute this.
- Garlic: Garlic compliments shrimp so well, so add on as much as you like. Fresh garlic, please!
- Red chilli flakes: This is something I love to add in most of my dishes. Go easy on them, if you can’t take the heat.
- Salt & Pepper: Add them to your taste buds’ desire. We all know that these subtle ingredients are the life and soul of a tasty flavourful dish.
- Lemon Juice: You need the acidity that comes from this lemon, without overpowering the buttery flavours. A squeeze of the fresh juice does the trick.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is preferred as you can adjust the saltiness otherwise. Some have used flavoured butter that has turned out successful too.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is for the garnish and mild flavour.
How to make shrimp Scampi:
To cook shrimp:
- Add chili flakes, garlic, and salt to a shrimp. Combine thoroughly. Allow for a 5-minute resting period. (Photos 1 & 2)
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the shrimp, spacing them evenly in the pan. Allow the shrimp to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. ( Photos 3 & 4)
To make Scampi Sauce:
- Transfer the shrimp and juices to a another bowl and set aside. (Photo 5).
- In a same pan, heat the olive oil and butter, then add the minced garlic and chili flakes. (Photos 6 & 7).
- Cook for a few seconds on low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant. (Photo 8).
- Stir in the paprika and salt for a few seconds. (Photo 9).
- Add in the chicken stock cubes and lemon juice. Stir and combine the scampi sauce for 30 seconds. (Photo 10 & 11).
- Stir in the shrimp. (Photo 12).
- Stir the shrimp for a few seconds, then add the remaining juices. (Photos 13 & 14)
- Cook the shrimp with the sauce for another 30 seconds/ Sprinkle chopped parsley and serve. (Photos 15 & 16)
- Leaving the shrimp heads and shells on (if you like), enhances the deep saline taste
- Do not wait for the shrimps to curl into rounds; it’s very easy to overcook shrimps
- If you want to increase the sauciness, you can always add ¼ cup of pasta cooked water
- When you’re adding wine, dry crisp white wine like unoaked chardonnay, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc is the perfect compliment
- While your pasta is waiting, toss them with a little olive oil to avoid sticking.
If you’re allergic to shrimp, try this dish with asparagus. – Read an Italian chef’s reply that asparagus can be grilled instead for vegetarians.
Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (beneficial type of cholesterol) are the big deal in shrimps.
Along with the antioxidant astaxanthin, they help in improving heart and brain health. Shrimp is low in calories with no carbs.
But it is loaded with nutrients and other vitamins that benefit weight loss and anti-aging features.
Well, if you’re including the head, good for you. It has the most flavour and contains the fat and the protein.
A balanced diet with controlled amounts of shrimp can help avoid the side effects of shrimp or any other sea food.
Frequently asked questions:
- How to purchase a good quality fresh shrimp?
Just make sure they are firm with no blackened edges or black spots on the shells, while the shells can be either translucent & greyish green or pinkish or light pink in colour
- What type of pasta serves best with garlic butter shrimp ?
Pasta noodles like Angel hair or linguine are the common ones used whereas spaghetti or fettuccine or zucchini noodles are also good
- If not pasta, what does Scampi recipe go with?
You can serve them along with some crusty bread for dipping in the sauce or Parmesan cheese or a salad or rice
- Can Shrimp Scampi be stored?
It’s better eaten fresh, but it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months
other recipes you may like to try:
Check out All Shrimp Recipes here.
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