I have been gone for the past 2 weeks, soaking up the sun in California, my home state. Last night I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for my Grandma and Grandpa Burgos at their house in Camarillo. I was feeling very uninspired and didn't really know what to make. My Grandma is a great cook even though she doesn't do it much anymore because her chemo treatments leave her with limited energy. After days of thinking about it (am I the only one who obsesses over food like this?) I decided I would just make linguine shrimp scampi. I make it a couple times a year and so it is considered a "regular" at my house. I think I have mentioned before that even regular meals only get made a couple times a year since I am usually trying new recipes and techniques out.
This pasta is so good! It's very fresh and lemony despite all the oil and butter called for. Honestly, it looks like a lot, but when you consider it's the sauce for the whole dish, it's not too bad relatively speaking. I love it because it's one of those dishes where you prep everything in advance (chopping parsley, mincing garlic, zesting lemons, extracting lemon juice, measuring salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes) but once it's done the whole dish takes 5-8 minutes to make. It's great for company because you can whip it out in no time. And as long as the people you are serving like lemon, it's a real crowd pleaser!
I used whole wheat pasta because it's healthier, and normally I would say you can't tell the difference, but in this case you can. It's still great with the whole wheat, but I think white pasta better suits this particular meal. It's your call.
Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
1 pound linguine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I use 5)
5 tablespoons olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on (I use 1 lb, but you can use as many as you want)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced in half rounds
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Measure out and chop all ingredients so they are waiting for you
Cook the linguine in a large pot of boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions.
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, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 3-5 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.
This is great served with bread for dipping and a green salad with italian dressing (home made is better). Don't be scared by all the garlic called for in this recipe. It's the perfect amount.
After dinner I served a dessert consisting of fresh frozen berries in a hot white chocolate sauce. I'll post that in a few as it is easy, impressive and yummy-licious. One disclaimer. tThis is NOT my photo. I didn't have my camera when I made this and so I just snapped a picture from my cook book. It looks exactly like this, though, every time I make it.