Monday, November 23, 2009

Shrimp Scampi Linguini

When I first moved to Chicago a little over 5 years ago, I was a pretty picky eater.  So picky, in fact, that I didn't like any seafood whatsoever (I was crazy, I know).  My favorites foods included those of a 12-year-old child (nachos, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, pizza, etc.), but I am happy to say that these 5 years in Chicago have opened my eyes to liking all sorts of different food.  Now, there isn't much that I don't like, and I absolutely love shellfish.  When I hear people tell me now that they don't like seafood, I encourage them to give it a try again because tastes change a lot from the time we're kids!  The first seafood I ever liked was fried calamari, then I moved up to shrimp, then king crab legs (my absolute favorite), then scallops and mussels.  Moral of the story - even if you were a picky eater when you were younger, you should try new things because you could be missing out on finding your new favorite food!

Anyways, this recipe is one that I've been making for a few years when I'm in the mood for some shrimp pasta.  I got the original recipe from Ina Garten, who is one of my favorite Food Network Chefs, and I have adapted the recipe just a bit to fit what we like.  This pasta is delicious, garlicky, and not too heavy at all.  This made a great Sunday meal served with a green salad and some cheesy garlic toast.


Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
3/4 pound linguine
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 of a yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I also went ahead and took the tails off mine before cooking)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon, zest grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine (I used Savignon Blanc)
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat, and add the onions. Saute about 4 minutes or until onion is softened.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Remove shrimp from the pan so that they don't overcook and reserve on the side.  Add in wine into the sauce and let boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp, parmesan cheese, and sauce, toss well, and serve.

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