Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

DSC_1022I have been into food for about as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start cooking until I was away at college and it became a necessity. I just couldn’t eat pizza, cheese fries and Kraft mac-n-cheese every night.  My specialties back then were banana pancakes and chicken Parmesan.

When I got married I would watch cooking shows on PBS and try my hand at different dishes, most of them Italian or Mexican. Now , well into our marriage and with two growing kids we still don’t eat out a lot.  Maybe once every two weeks. And that is way more than I ate out with my family as a kid. I guess I am like my mom. I like to know what’s in my food and don’t want to pay for something I can make at home. And I really don’t like paying for a meal that just isn’t yummy.

My friend Mari laughs at me because when we are out shopping and decide to have lunch I am usually like “let’s go here for that”, naming a specific place and a specific dish I am craving at the moment. Doesn’t everybody do that?

Which brings me to this dish. I was craving shrimp scampi. But this isn’t the overly buttery and garlicky version. This was fresh with citrus and parsley and tangy/spicy thanks to the chopped pickled cherry peppers. I like adding heat to dishes but in an unexpected way. Instead of red pepper flakes I’ll use serano chiles. fresh ginger or cherry peppers in a dish. Even a few dashes of my favorite hot sauce will do the trick.

I served my kids and sensed a change at the table. Complete silence. My son was shoveling this in with such gusto I thought the Heimlich Maneuver was in my near future.

This was so easy to put together, under a half hour from start to finish, and was so, so scrumptious. Please make it!

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2 tbs olive oil

1 lb large shrimp, fresh or defrosted

salt and pepper

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc

1 heaping tbs chopped pickled cherry peppers

3 tbs fresh chopped Italian parsley

2 tbs unsalted butter

8 oz angel hair pasta – 1 cup of pasta cooking water reserved

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Cook the pasta to package directions. Remember to salt the water before cooking the pasta and to reserve the pasta cooking water.

In the meantime, do your prep – slice the garlic, chop the cherry peppers and parsley.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes until pink. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the lemon juice and wine to the pan. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes then add the shrimp back in with the zest, cherry peppers and pasta. Stir to coat and cook about 1 to 2 minutes more. Finish with the butter, parsley, and if needed, some of the pasta cooking water. I usually end up adding at least a 1/4 cup . It adds flavor and thickens the sauce a bit thanks to the starch from the pasta.

I can’t wait for you to try this! Let me know how it goes. You can comment at the end of my posts on my blog lickedtheplate.com. And as always, follow me via email by providing your email address in the top right hand menu right underneath the search bar.

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