It’s one of those dishes that seems to be reserved for “dinner out” but let me tell you, you’re going to be absolutely amazed at how quickly this flavorful meal comes together.
All of the magic happens in one big skillet – the kind of meal we love! Buon Appetito!
1 pound linguine or spaghetti (plus 2 teaspoons salt and a drizzle of oil)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced thin or chopped fine, but not minced
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound (about 16-20) large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on
6 cups (or 6 oz bag) fresh baby spinach, not packed down.
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
zest of 1/2 lemon
4 thin sliced half rounds of lemon
1 cup heavy cream or half and half, optional
Ribbons of grated parmesan for garnish
In a large pot of boiling water, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Don’t burn garlic. Add the shrimp, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Sauté and stir just until the shrimp turns pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest. Toss to combine.
Drain cooked pasta, add to shrimp and lightly toss. Add cup of heavy cream or half and half and toss gently. Serve with ribbons of parmesan and lemon slices.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED……let me share a few of my favorite cooking tips!
1. Cook the pasta “al dente” which is a firm to the bite, or slightly undercooked. Remember, the pasta is going into the pan of Scampi, so you don’t want it overcooked!
2. When boiling water for pasta, some chefs say that they only start with cold water. I wondered why, and discovered some sources on line suggest that hot water is much more likely to leach the heavy metal from your plumbing pipes so to be safe, use cold water. Whether you start with hot or cold water, salting your water (about 2 teaspoons to 6 quarts of water) will help flavor the pasta!
3. Often Restaurant chefs will cook up the pasta the night before, and portion them in small bundles. If you want to cook pasta ahead of your meal, strain the hot water from the cooked pasta and place the pasta in a bowl or tray. Drizzle a small amount (about 1-2 teaspoons) of olive oil over the pasta and gently stir. (I use my hands!)
That way, when you reheat the pasta, it won’t stick together. Then cover and place in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve it, boil some water, and then just drop the pre-cooked pasta in for just a minute to heat it up.