Nov 30, 2020

Shrimp Scampi

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
The word “Scampi” doesn't actually refer to the preparation of the classic Italian dish, it refers to the small lagnostine-like crustaceans of the same name.

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Since they are not found in the United States the seafood was switched to shrimp, and now the name refers to the garlic and white wine butter sauce it’s served in, typically tossed together with pasta.

While the garlic-heavy butter-emulsified sauce is the perfect pairing for pasta I also love serving it as an appetizer with shrimp and grilled bread or serving it ladled over a cheesy risotto.

Classic Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Garlic – I always use fresh cloves of garlic, the pre-minced jars of garlic don’t taste the same. It loses a lot of the powerful garlic flavor when it’s jarred. This is because it has been soaked in water for a long period of time. Peeling garlic only takes a bit. As the garlic is sautéed the flavor mellows so it’s not very pungent but adds a base flavor.
  • Wine – White wine is the base for the white wine and butter scampi sauce. Use a dry white wine for this recipe. It won’t overpower the dish by making it too sweet. While I will use just about any white wine in a pinch I prefer cooking with Sauvignon blanc. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink!
  • Shrimp – I prefer to use jumbo (16/20) shrimp in this recipe. Each person gets 4 to 5 shrimp. They’re meatier and stay very tender when cooked. They’re seasoned simply with salt and pepper then sautéed and served with the garlic butter “scampi” sauce.
  • Lemon – Garlic white wine “scampi” sauce is typically finished off with an acidic squeeze of lemon to brighten the sauce.
  • Butter – I use unsalted butter in my cooking. As a result, I have more control over the amount and when the salt is added in the cooking process.
  • Pasta – Long flat noodles like linguine are typically served with shrimp scampi. I like serving it with mafalde, the frilly, ribbon-like pasta holds the buttery sauce especially well.
Shrimp Scampi-29.jpg

How to Make Shrimp Scampi

  • Cook the shrimp. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper and arrange in the pan. Sauté on both sides until pink and no longer translucent, about 1½ minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  • Make the scampi sauce. Return the pan to medium-high heat; add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and let reduce by a third. Add the lemon juice stir, cooking for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until melted and emulsified into the sauce.
  • Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  • Assemble and serve. Stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the scampi sauce tossing to combine. Divide among warmed pasta bowls, spooning any additional sauce over the top.
Shrimp Scampi-43.jpg

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

This shrimp scampi pasta recipe is made with a light garlic butter sauce and sautéed shrimp for an easy weeknight dinner.

Shrimp Scampi

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, 16/20 per pound, peeled & deveined
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ pound mafalde or linguine pasta

Instructions:

  • Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper and arrange in the pan. Sauté on both sides until pink and no longer translucent, about 1½ minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  • Return the pan to medium-high heat; add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and let reduce by a third. Add the lemon juice stir, cooking for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until melted and emulsified into the sauce.
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  • Stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the scampi sauce tossing to combine. Divide among warmed pasta bowls, spooning any additional sauce over the top.

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