Skillet Pasta Shrimp Scampi - a one-pot, easy, 45-minute weeknight dinner; delicious and elegant enough for a dinner party!
This Skillet Pasta Shrimp Scampi is for you, a direct result of the Café survey that many of you participated in last week. Enjoy!
Although we're still getting results from The Café Reader's Survey 2016, it has already helped us know more of what Café readers really like and want. There were a few areas in which your opinions were quite polar opposites: "More pictures." "Not so many pictures." "Not so many travel pictures." "More travel pictures." "More desserts." "Not so many sweets"... Those are things we'll weigh carefully, yet we know that we can't please everyone.
There were lots of things, however, that were very consistent; things the majority of you would like to see more of in 2016 from us - so we are already working on those! Some of the things that were at the top of your list were: Healthy Recipes, Quick Easy Dinner Recipes, Dinner Party Quality, Every-Day-Easy Recipes and Party/Entertaining Recipes. You also voted for more Salads, Slow Cooker Recipes and Step-by-Step Tutorials.
Guess what? Your answers have inspired lots of new ideas for me, and I think you'll love what we've got in store for the weeks and months ahead. As a matter of fact, today's recipe checks off several of the boxes! It's a Quick, Easy Dinner Recipe as well as being Dinner Party Quality. It's also an Every-Day Easy Recipe, as it comes together in less than an hour - with only one pan! It's definitely delicious and gourmet-ish enough to please your fanciest guests.
And although shrimp scampi is usually dripping with butter, this recipe is also decently Healthy, with 25 grams of protein and only 3.1 grams of saturated fat. I adapted it from Cook's Illustrated and, though I cut some of the fat out of their recipe, I don't believe any flavor was sacrificed. Young and old alike have gobbled this up when I've served it!
So if you're looking for a sure-bet winner, I recommend this fabulous, one-pan shrimp scampi. I used Trottole-shaped pasta (which can be found at most larger grocers), but any larger pasta would also work well. I think Gemelli, Campenelle or Chiocciole would be really fun shapes for this dish. The pasta is cooked right in the skillet, which I was a bit skeptical about. It comes out just perfect, actually even better, as it's simmered in chicken stock, giving it lots of wonderful flavor.
Pick up some shrimp next time you're at the market. I like the shrimp that's already been peeled and deveined, but use whatever kind you prefer. Just buy the largest you can find/afford as larger shrimp seem to work better in this dish. I think you'll be shocked at how easy, quick and super delicious this dinner is. Go ahead, start planning your next dinner party, you've already got the majority of the menu figured out!
Café Tips for making this Skillet Pasta Shrimp Scampi
- I serve this shrimp scampi with a crusty loaf of warm bread and a simple green salad. For dessert? Well, I'm so glad you asked! There are lots of options but going along with the quick and easy theme, I'd be tempted to serve these Chocolate Pots de Créme (5-minutes hands-on time!) or this French Almond Cake (no mixer required!).
- Don't worry, it sounds like a lot of garlic, but the garlic mellows out as it's sautéed and the result is not a strong or sharp garlic taste.
- You don't need an expensive wine for this shrimp scampi. I generally use a Marlborough region Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. There are lots of these wines that are reasonably priced with good quality.
- I used Trottole-shaped pasta which you can find at most larger grocers, but any larger pasta will work well.
Skillet Pasta Shrimp Scampi - a one-pot, easy, 45-minute weeknight dinner, delicious and elegant enough for a dinner party!
- 11 yes 11! medium garlic cloves, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 ¼ pounds shrimp large (I use the 21-25 count bag size)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed red pepper (rub the faces between your fingers to break up a bit.)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 12 ounces pasta
- 3 tablespoons parsley minced
Firmly crush all cloves of garlic with the flat side of a chef's knife. Make a garlic paste with 2 of the peeled cloves by roughly chopping them then sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Press and drag the side of a large knife over the mixture until it turns into a smooth paste. Transfer paste to a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest and pepper. Set aside. Slice remaining garlic super thin and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
Place shrimp in a medium-size bowl. Combine ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl and stir. Sprinkle salt mixture over shrimp and toss to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12″ skillet over high heat until melted and bubbly. Add shrimp and spread to a single layer. Allow shrimp to brown slightly without stirring for about 2 minutes. Stir for about 1 minute, until shrimp turn pink, opaque and begin to curl. Don't overcook or shrimp will be dry and tough. Remove shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Reduce heat to very low. Add remaining tablespoon of oil, sliced garlic and red pepper flakes to pan. Stirring frequently, cook garlic until just beginning to turn golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high and simmer, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until wine has pretty much evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Add water, broth and pasta to pan and increase heat to produce a vigorous simmer. Once broth is simmering, cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently (but very gently to keep pasta intact), until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has thickened, about 12-15 minutes. Taste a noodle at 12 minutes to determine if you need a minute or two more. Don't let liquid completely evaporate. There should be some left under and between the noodles.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the garlic/oil mixture. Cook for another minute, gently tossing pasta till it is well coated with the sauce. If the sauce seems scant, just add a bit more broth to loosen it up. Add shrimp, taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with more fresh, finely chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
See Café Tips above for further instructions and more tips.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.