What a crazy week! Days filled with overtime and errands, gatherings and cleaning binges—by week’s end, I could scarcely find the energy to cook. But then I remembered my old standby: pasta with shrimp scampi.
You may want to keep this one up your sleeve for those nights when you are too exhausted and broke to make anything except boxed macaroni and cheese.
Shrimp scampi sounds a lot fancier than it actually is. The truth is, it fits most budgets and takes less than 20 minutes to sauté and serve before you’re inhaling your plate. Butter and/or olive oil, garlic and lemon juice are its main components. From there, pick and choose whatever flavours motivate your palette: red pepper flakes, olives, mushrooms, Parmesan, Asiago, paprika, cayenne, white wine, parsley, basil—these all work beautifully.
I also use this recipe’s shrimp component and add it to homemade Caesar salad. Just use half the amount of butter and olive oil!
Pasta dishes need not be complicated or even intimidating. The best thing is, you could eat a massive serving of it and not feel lethargic afterwards. Have at it and play around with flavour combinations; I guarantee you will never tire of this.
Pasta with Shrimp Scampi
Serves 4 (halve recipe for 2 servings)
For vegetarian option, omit shrimp.
1 lb./454 g. pasta of your choice (I used Di Martino’s Tofette)
1 lb. (or one bag) fresh/frozen shrimp or tiger prawns
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Handful fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, boil pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is boiling, prepare seafood.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil, butter and garlic over medium heat until sizzling. Add shrimp/prawns and sauté until you see signs of pink. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon juice until cooked through, about 2–5 minutes (depending on size). Remove from heat.
- Strain pasta and return to pot. Add all seafood and sauce to the pasta along with the olives, Parmesan and parsley. Toss to thoroughly combine flavours.
Serve with salad or crispy bread. May be kept refrigerated for up to two days, though I recommend only one day before it begins to get dry.