Lemon, garlic, and butter makes up what is probably one of the best gastronomic combinations out there (that’s right I said it). The almost sweet acidity of the lemon pairs up perfectly with the toasty and pungent flavor of the garlic, and both are enhanced by the rich fattiness of the butter. We have relied on this ingredients for everything from steak to chicken zoodles, but I think no dish lets these flavors shine more than Shrimp Scampi.
Shrimp Scampi is an Italian-American dish that can be found in red sauce joints throughout the country. The name is a little redundant as scampi is the Italian word for langoustines, delicious shrimp-like crustaceans that are commonly found off the Italian coast. This dish is distinctly American though, and is made using plump, pink shrimp and is usually served over a heaping bowl of pasta.
To my mind though, the pasta detracts from the delectable simplicity of this dish. The shrimp is the main event and should be treated as such. We use a bit of dry white wine and lemon zest to add some depth to the sauce. Parsley also adds a much needed herbal pop that is a staple of any good shrimp scampi.
Those who miss the carbs of the shrimp scampi, have no fear. We are topping our scampi with garlicky, lemony breadcrumbs that add a savory crunch to each bite. You might even find yourself using them for other dishes too!
Tried making our take on this classic? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!
Delicious Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 9 cloves garlic, 5 cloves minced and 4 grated
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 7 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1/2 c. panko
- 3 tsp. lemon zest, divide
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 1/3 fresh parsley, finely chopped plus more for garnish
In a large bowl toss together shrimp and 2 grated cloves of garlic. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper then chill until ready to use.
In a small skillet over medium low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter until the foam subsides. Add 2 additional cloves of grated garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
Stir in bread crumbs and toast, tossing occasionally, until deeply golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a heavy pinch of salt.
In a large skillet over medium heat melt 2 more tablespoons of butter. Working in batches if necessary, add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until just pink all the way through, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic has begun to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add white wine, lemon juice and remaining zest and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by about a third, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and swirl in the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, so that the butter emulsifies into the sauce. Let simmer for an additional minute or two until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Add the parsley and stir to combine.
Return the shrimp and any liquid that has accumulated on the plate to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
Top with garlic breadcrumbs and parsley.