Shrimp Scampi

After I left northwest Florida for Tennessee, I traded one paradise for another. Indeed, Florida’s striking white sands were created when the Appalachian mountains I now call home travelled south to the Gulf Coast. I am satisfied with my trade, but I dearly miss Gulf seafood—the freshness, the easy access.… Just down the road one could buy fresh-off-the-boat shrimp from shrimpers off the back of a pick-up. As for how I cooked them, it might sound a little like the shrimp scene from Forrest Gump. Shrimp scampi was a relatively frequent indulgence.  

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A Family Reunion Favorite

Now that I and my youngest brother have moved away from Florida’s panhandle, on return visits he always cooks up a batch. Fresh, buttery, garlicky and delicious. Here in Tennessee, I resort to frozen, and I must admit, they are as delicious as my memory of fresh-in-Florida shrimp scampi. 

Variations on a Theme

My recipe is a little different from my brother’s. He uses lots of butter. I use oil and add wine. I plate mine on elegant angel hair nests. He goes all-out shrimp with a side of garlic bread … because garlic is magical. One of these days I may try a shrimp scampi pizza using my artisan bread, but for now, I’m quite happy with my pasta beds.

About Shrimp Scampi

Fresh is always best, but if you cannot get fresh shrimp—like me, here in Tennessee—it’s ok. The quantity for the recipe is based upon peeled, tail-on shrimp. They are deveined, which saves time. You’ll want to size up the quantity if you’re removing the whole shell. If you don’t do shrimp often, it may not be worth buying a deveining tool, but they make deveining much easier. And while we’re talking about making things easier, let’s talk about those tails. Simply pinch the tail—press on the dorsal and underside of the tail—and pull. It should slide right off. 

The shrimp are the main attraction, and the garlic is the oh, so necessary sidekick. Go with garlic as fresh as you can get it. The lemon and wine enhance the flavor. The delicate angel hair pasta does not overpower the shrimp, thus creating a beautiful balance in the finished meal.   

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

J.R.R. Tolkien 
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Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi in angel hair nests are a surprisingly quick meal with an elegant touch and delicious taste, even if you have to use frozen shrimp.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword garlic, gluten-free option, pasta, seafood, shrimp, shrimp scampi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Lisa Kamolnick / Food Passages

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ C white white
  • 2 TBSP butter sub with olive or grapeseed oil
  • 12-16 oz. shrimp
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • Fresh Parsley sprig chopped
  • 2 – 3 angel hair pasta nests
  • parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Mince garlic, squeeze lemon, chop parsley sprig and set aside.
  • Peel and devein shrimp as needed.
  • Add water to stock pot and heat to boiling.
  • While water is heating, add oil to saute pan and heat to medium.
  • Add garlic, butter or oil and parsley.
  • When garlic releases, add white wine and shrimp. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes, until shrimp turn pink.
  • When shrimp are done, remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  • Add angel hair nests and boil until cooked, about 4 minutes
  • Plate pasta and place shrimp with some juice over nest.

Notes

Serving Suggestions
Serve with a side of asparagus, peas, or steamed broccoli and some garlic bread. Also goes well with a salad. Make it an Italian buffet with the addition of more sauces over pasta or spaghetti squash.
Tips
  • Shrimp are done when they are no longer translucent and turn a pinkish color. Be careful not to overcook as they will become tough.
  • For gluten-free version, use gluten-free pasta or spaghetti squash.
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