Shrimp Scampi as a Birthday Meal Alternative
A classic form of the recipe can be used time and again for any holiday or birthday occasion.
My husband’s birthday is around the corner and, unlike me, who likes to be wined and dined in Boston, he wants to celebrate with a home-cooked meal.
Therefore, I am tasked with coming up with an inventive, memorable and delicious dish every year that doesn’t keep me in the kitchen all day neglecting my toddler. It means forgoing the usual run-of-the-mill chicken and searching for a lean meat or seafood dish.
The meal I come back to time and time again for a special occasion – my father’s birthday, Christmas Eve with my in-laws – is Ina Garten’s shrimp scampi.
It’s always a hit and takes 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Honestly, you can whip it up while your guests are enjoying an hors d'oeuvre and drink and serve it immediately.
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
- 3/4 pound linguine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 lemon, zest grated
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water and add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for seven to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
- Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. (Be careful, garlic burns easily.)
- Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
- When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.