Shrimp scampi is very easy to make, and has SO much flavor. Who doesn’t love shrimp scampi? Citrusy, garlicky, buttery. All warm and tender, with that bite of shrimp for a flavor and texture contrast. It’s happy-mouth food!
I’ve made it lots of times before, but usually in the oven, separate from the pasta. I’ll make the pasta for the guys, but since that is a food I usually avoid, I would serve myself some scampi with sauce, and then use a small piece of bread to soak up the juices. That would be my little cheat. The guys would put plain, warm pasta on their plates and then scoop some shrimp and sauce over the noodles.
Frankly, serving shrimp scampi that way was a little selfish and definitely not fair to my guys. That’s because the whole shrimp scampi with pasta experience is exponentially better when the pasta is allowed to wallow in the glorious scampi sauce, getting nice and coated while it is still loose and hot. So today, I decided to make it the right way. And it was so deliciously good, I do not regret a single bite.
Looking for a flavor explosion in 30 minutes or less? Then this needs to go into your meal plan real soon!
let’s see what goes into making this shrimp scampi with linguini
Linguini or linguine…you say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to. Yeah, you can spell it either way. Both are the plural form of the Italian word for “little tongue” which I think may describe the flattened shape of this particular pasta.
It’s amazing to me that these few little ingredients, when combined, get elevated into something that tastes like so much more than the sum of the parts. To me, it is quintessentially Italian because of its fast and easy preparation, fresh and simple ingredients, and delicious layers of flavor.
I love to make it this way because it is ALMOST a one-pot meal…if you don’t count the pot to boil the pasta. Everything else comes together in a heavenly mix in just one skillet!
let’s look at the steps to make this shrimp scampi with linguini
Start by putting water to boil for the pasta, with plenty of salt.
And here’s a little trick…I like to use a two-part pasta pot like this one (not an affiliate link) for a very simple reason; trying to time the pasta and the sauce to be done at the exact same time can be a little tricky. And even a few minutes of sitting will make the pasta start to get tacky and the noodles start to stick to each other.
When I use the pasta pot, I remove the inset to strain the pasta, but leave the pasta water in the pan. Then, every few minutes or so, I can ladle some of the pasta water over the noodles and toss them. This keeps them warm, loose, and perfect for adding to the sauce when it is ready!
So, go ahead and add the pasta when the water is ready and cook for about 8 minutes or until it is just short of being done.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet on medium-low heat, melt half of the butter with the olive oil and cook the garlic and red peppers just until it starts to smell really good. Be careful not to overcook it. The garlic needs to be tender for scampi, not browned or crunchy.
Add the shrimp to the mix and cook just until they are pink, which is about 2 minutes on each side.
Then, with a pair of tongs, remove the shrimp to a dish and keep warm.
Add the wine to the pan and raise the heat to medium. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by about half.
Then add the rest of the butter and oil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp back, along with any juices they released into the reserved dish.
Then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Add all but about a tablespoon of the parsley and the lemon juice.
Mix everything together well.
Then toss in the cooked linguini. Be very thorough so that the juices at the bottom of the pan are well mixed.
Than off to the table it goes!
Remember to reach to the bottom of the pan when serving up the plates. The sauce has a tendency to sink down and you want every dish to get its fair share.
Use some of that little bit of parsley you have left to garnish the plates.
Then dig in and with gusto!
You know you’re having fun when your chin is shiny with sauce. Enjoy!
- 1 pound linguini
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cloves garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1½ pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of one large lemon
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- Cook the linguini according to the package instructions, along with 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil to a large skillet on medium-low heat.
- When the butter has melted, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Cook until the garlic is fragrant and tender, but not browned (between 1 and 2 minutes)
- Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook just until the shrimp is pink (about 2 minutes on each side)
- Remove the shrimp to a dish and keep warm.
- Add the wine to the pan and increase the heat to medium.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by half (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the remaining butter and olive oil.
- Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the shrimp and any settled juices back into the pan.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley.
- Stir to distribute everything evenly.
- Then add the linguini to the shrimp and sauce, tossing thoroughly to distribute the sauce sitting at the bottom of the pan.
- Serve and garnish with the remaining parsley.