Same ingredients, three different quick and easy ways to prepare super flavorful Shrimp Scampi!
I have been eating some version of shrimp scampi since I was a little girl, and have always loved it. Not surprising, since I love most dishes with butter and garlic in them! When getting ready to share my recipe for shrimp scampi, I got to thinking – what is the history behind this delectable dish?
First, I discovered that the word “scampi” refers to langoustines, which are in the lobster family, but smaller – roughly the size of a crawfish.
A popular way to prepare “scampi” in Italy is to sauté them with olive oil, garlic, onion and white wine. Since langoustines are not widely available in the United States, Italian immigrant cooks in America substituted shrimp for the langoustines, but kept the name of the dish. Over the years, “shrimp scampi” has evolved, and various versions also include butter, herbs, tomatoes, and/or even breadcrumbs. It tends to be served over pasta, but I also like it on sautéed spiralized zucchini.
For my recipe, I include the traditional ingredients of olive oil, garlic and white wine, layering in even more flavor with the addition of tarragon, chives and lemon juice. I also throw in some red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick – something I remember when eating the Portuguese version of shrimp scampi in Lisbon. I also have created two alternative ways to prepare my shrimp scampi, in addition to sautéing – see variations below for baking it and grilling it. I came up with the idea to grill it “en papillote” when Robert and I were camping in our airstream trailer, and it worked beautifully!
Quick Shrimp Scampi Three Ways
Same ingredients, three different ways to prepare super flavorful Shrimp Scampi!
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main dish, easy entertaining, every day dishes
- 10 to 12 ounces linguine (can also use spaghetti)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons chopped garlic (or to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 1/2 pounds large (21 to 30 per pound) shrimp, shelled and deveined (tail shells removed)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, tarragon and chives and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp start to turn pink. Add the white wine and 1/4 cup lemon juice and continue cooking until the shrimp are cooked through, around another minute or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add additional lemon juice to taste (how much you will need depends on the sweetness of your lemons).
- Serve over linguine, garnished with chopped Italian parsley.
Variation – grill it en papillote: In a small saucepan, heat the butter, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, tarragon, chives and lemon juice over medium heat just until the butter is melted and ingredients are mixed together. Tear off 2 to 3 large squares of foil. Divide shrimp equally between each square, drawing up foil sides to make a bowl. Drizzle butter sauce over shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Fold up two opposite edges of the foil and fold over to seal. Fold up ends and seal. Place on a preheated grill over medium hot coals and cook for around 10 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Variation – bake it: In an ovenproof baking dish, heat the butter, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, tarragon, chives and lemon juice over medium heat just until the butter is melted and ingredients are mixed together. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in shrimp. Cover and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until shrimp are done, around 12 to 15 minutes.