Although scampi technically refers to a type of crayfish that's popular in the Adriatic, in the United States, the word has come to mean a garlicky, sautéed shrimp dish often served with pasta. Regardless of whether or not the term "shrimp scampi" is being used correctly, the Italian-American staple, with its pungent aroma, slippery pasta, and succulent, tail-on shrimp, is worth making.
For a main course that requires minimal effort, stick to tried-and-true Mediterranean flavors like garlic and rosemary. Alternatively, infuse a Southwestern sense of place by hand-roasting poblano chile peppers to toss in with bright lime zest and cilantro. Consider both when you read more.
12 ounces spaghetti
1 pound large (31 to 35) peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, tails on (if desired), thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until al dente; reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add shrimp to pot, and stir. Immediately drain spaghetti and shrimp, and set aside (the shrimp will continue to cook).
- In same pot, heat oil over medium. Add garlic, rosemary, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat; return pasta and shrimp to pot. Add lemon juice and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish
3 poblano chiles
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon chopped (or thinly sliced) sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 halves)
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups farfalle, cooked
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Place chiles directly over the burners of a gas stove. Roast over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and chiles soften, 10 to 15 minutes. (To roast in oven, cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Place chiles on sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until skin is charred and chiles soften, 12 to 17 minutes.) Remove from heat and cool. Remove peel and seeds. Slice thinly; set aside.
- Sprinkle shrimp with half the salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over high heat. Cook shrimp, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chiles, red peppers, tomatoes, zest and lime juice.
- Cook until liquid reduces by half and shrimp are no longer translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add wine and reduce until slightly syrupy. Stir in pasta.
- Reduce heat to low and cover 1 minute. Top with cilantro and serve.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish