Shrimp Scampi (Shrimp in Garlic Wine Sauce)

4 Mar

“This is the best lunch ever, Mom, the King of All Lunches,” says Leandro, The King of All Understatements.

The source of his enthusiasm was Shrimp Scampi (kind of an Americanized misnomer for an Italian recipe: read here). And if it wasn’t the best lunch ever (he has fewer lunches to compare with than I do) it was pretty damn good.

Simmering off the wine

Simmering off the wine

Right up there with a tuna tartare and Sancerre lunch at a charming St. Maarten marina with Jayne McAllister, any number of Verdejo-laced Spanish seafood lunches with Mele at Marisquería Atlantica or Tasca del Pescador in the Plaza de Mercado of Santurce, or grilled fish chez nous courtesy Pedro and a fishing neighbor, or clams we’ve just raked up in a secret location with Deborah Pittorino, painter-fisherman Richie Fiedler & Co and Paumanok’s Chenin Blanc at The Greenporter…but I digress.

If you peel shrimp, you should always reserve the peels for a quick savory broth to amp up the briny flavor

If you peel shrimp, you should always reserve the peels for a quick savory broth to amp up the briny flavor

Back to Sunday’s scampi. This is a butter, garlic and wine concoction for lightly cooked shrimp (or prawns, if you prefer: read shrimp vs. prawn word wars  here) that we lightened up (I say we, because Leandro scrubbed up and donned apron to help peel them; a valiant effort that resulted in in a single peeled shrimp, a wrinkled nose, and a tearing off of apron and another scrubbing up in very rapid succession).

I strain the shrimp broth directly into the pasta pot

I strain the shrimp broth directly into the pasta pot

Usually the ratio of butter to oil is reversed, but I am not fond of seafood swimming in butter. And usually the fresh green herb is parsley, but the boy has recently got very, very into cilantro, so we switched that out to to excellent effect. We served it with pasta — taking advantage of the shrimp shells to cook the pasta in seafood broth, but it can be served with rice, couscous, or bread.

Lighter than your average scampi

Lighter than your average scampi

I had a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Leandro had a seltzer, so I was serenaded by exclamations of “Yums” and “Mom, this is the best! This is so good!” punctuated by very profound carbonated belches. In all, a perfect lunch.

We went with fettucine for the scampi, because we like fettucine.

We went with fettucine for the scampi, because we like fettucine.

Shrimp Scampi

1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peels reserved

½ pound pasta of your choice

1 Tbs unsalted butter

3 Tbs olive oil

Salt to taste

1 Tbs garlic, minced

Dash or more hot red pepper flakes

1 Tbs lemon juice

¼ Cup dry white wine

1-2 Tbs chopped cilantro/parsley

Place the reserved shrimp peelings in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for five minutes, then strain water into pasta cooking liquid.

Boil 1 lb. pasta to package instructions, reserving ¼ Cup cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, heat butter and olive on medium high. Lightly salt shrimp. When foaming subsides, add garlic and cook three minutes on medium until garlic starts to brown. Add shrimp and cook, without moving, for one minute. Turn shrimp over. Cook for one more minute, then add pepper, lemon juice and white wine. Bring to a boil, boil for one minute, then remove from heat. If you need more liquid, add reserved pasta water. Add pasta to skillet, stir to combine and serve with crusty bread.



13 Responses to “Shrimp Scampi (Shrimp in Garlic Wine Sauce)”

  1. Karen March 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    The King of all lunches is high praise indeed. One of my favorite meals.

  2. Bluejellybeans March 7, 2013 at 4:54 am #

    ¡Qué rico Natalia! Estoy de acuerdo con Leandro, best lunch ever 😉

  3. Conor Bofin March 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Lovely and lovely writing: “very profound carbonated belches. In all, a perfect lunch” sounds pretty perfect to me.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy March 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      It truly was…I don’t know how it happened, but after five years of struggling against the clock and all the things that didn’t fit into 24 hours, suddenly things have become manageable and enjoyable with the not-so-little man! Thanks for the kind words…

      • Conor Bofin March 6, 2013 at 2:10 am #

        I know the feeling. Ours are both in their 20s now and apart from the financial end of things, they are a lot less trouble than when they were babies….

  4. Mad Dog March 5, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Delicious – I do the same with cilantro, it has much more flavour than parsley 😉

  5. thewindykitchen March 5, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    this looks great! I sometimes substitute parsley with cilantro as well since I almost always have some in the fridge 🙂


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