Shrimp scampi isn’t what you’ve always been taught. Originally this dish had nothing to do with shrimp at all. Scampi is actually a type of small lobster! Of course lobster, of any kind, can be hard to come by either because of availability or price so the dish we have come to love is an adaptation.
In America, shrimp is often used to make shrimp scampi and is one of the most popular preparations for the little crustaceans. What’s not to love about a large handful of shrimp basking in a pool of melted butter and garlic? Pair it with long strands of pasta, usually spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine, and you have a recipe for luscious deliciousness.
Keeping in line with the sea theme, this particular shrimp scampi recipe goes the extra mile with the addition of black linguine. Black linguine is pasta made with the ink from squid or cuttlefish, and if made from scratch, has a rich briny flavor that pairs well with anything from the sea. If it has been dried, the flavor isn’t as noticeable but the black color makes up in dramatic effect!
Shrimp Scampi with Black Linguine and Pine Nut Crumbs
- 1 pound whole raw shrimp
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 8 ounces dried black linguine pasta
- Water for boiling
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Prepare the shrimp by removing the heads, outer shells, and tails. Set the shrimp aside and reserve the heads and shells. Rinse the shrimp under cold water then place them in a bowl and cover until ready to use.
On a cutting board peel and mince the garlic, chop the pine nuts, and prepare the parsley, chives, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper for easy access while cooking.
Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the linguine and let it cook about 8 minutes or until it’s just cooked through. Reserve 1-2 ladles of water for the sauce and drain rest of excess water.
Melt half of the butter and half of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add in half of the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Next, add in the reserved shrimp heads and shells, cooking them for another 2 minutes or until they’ve turned pink.
Pour the wine into the pan, reduce heat to medium low, and let it simmer about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the infused wine to a bowl or measuring cup by pouring it through a sieve to remove the shells and set aside.
Return the pan to the burner on medium and add the rest of the olive oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add the rest of the garlic to the pan and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Next, add the shrimp to the pan, and cook another 2-3 minutes or until they start to turn pink and curl. Pour the reserved wine into the pan and add the parsley and chives, stirring well. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook 3-4 minutes more.
Add the rest of the butter and let it melt. Let it cook another 2 -3 minutes. Ladle the reserved pasta water into the pan and cook another couple of minutes or until it’s reduced and slightly thickened.
Return the pasta to the pan with the shrimp, season with black pepper and salt, and toss well with tongs to coat the pasta.
Plate the shrimp scampi and linguine and sprinkle with extra herbs and the chopped pine nuts. Serve immediately.
If black linguine isn’t available, regular linguine will be just as good!
While it may be tempting to go with already shelled and cleaned shrimp, simmering those shells in the wine beforehand really makes this sauce sing.
Using dry black pasta means that it doesn’t have to be made with squid ink, but can be made from other ingredients like black beans for a healthy fiber, and protein boost!
STEP ONE – REMOVE THE SHELLS AND CLEAN THE SHRIMP
Take one shrimp and grip the head in between your pointer finger and thumb and break the head off. Carefully, peel the outer shell off and carefully pull off the tail as well. Set the heads, shell, and tail to the side to make a stock for the sauce.
Rinse the shrimp under cold water and place them in a bowl and cover it until you’re ready to use them.
STEP TWO – PREPARE THE GARLIC AND HERBS
On a cutting board, mince the garlic with a sharp knife. Do the same with the pine nuts, and chop the herbs if they aren’t already chopped. Measure the butter, olive oil, pepper, and a bit of salt so they are all ready to use.
STEP THREE – COOK THE LINGUINE
Put a pot of water on to the stove over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the black linguine to the pot and let it cook for 8 -10 minutes approximately, or until al dente (just tender). Be sure not to overcook the pasta, as it will be returned to the pan with the shrimp and sauce later on.
Reserve some of the water from the pasta to use in the shrimp, about 2 ladles, before draining the rest of the pasta in the sink in a colander.
STEP FOUR – SAUTE GARLIC AND SHELLS
Melt half of the butter and half of the olive oil in a non-stick pan on the stove top over medium heat. Next, add half of the minced garlic to the pan. Sauté it for 1 minute or until it’s lightly browned, careful to not let it burn.
Add the shrimp heads and shells to the pan and sauté for a couple more minutes or until they turn pink.
STEP FIVE – ADD WINE TO MAKE SHRIMP STOCK
Once the shells have turned pink, pour the wine into the pan and stir well to scrape any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer about 10 minutes.
Pour the shrimp and wine stock through a sieve into a bowl or a large measuring cup.
Don’t skip this step! This makes the sauce much more flavorful.
STEP SIX – COOK THE SHRIMP
Return the pan to the burner and increase the heat to medium. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and when it’s hot, add in the rest of the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Again, don’t let the garlic burn by stirring frequently.
Add the shrimp to the pan and let them cook until they just turn pink and curl into a “C” shape,
then pour the reserved shrimp and wine stock to the pan. Stir in the parsley and chives, reduce the heat and cook another couple of minutes.
STEP SEVEN – ADD BUTTER AND PASTA WATER
Drop the last of the butter into the pan and stir well as it melts. Pour the reserved pasta water into the pan. This will thicken the sauce and help it grab onto the linguine.
STEP EIGHT – ADD PASTA TO SHRIMP
Return the linguine to the pan with the shrimp sauce and toss it well to let it coat the pasta. Add the black pepper and salt to taste before tossing again.
STEP NINE – PLATE DISH AND ADD PINE NUT CRUMBS
Serve the pasta on plates and add the pine nut crumbs and any leftover herbs for garnish. Serve immediately!
Shrimp scampi may have many little steps, but if the recipe is followed, it will be an easy and delicious meal in no time! Don’t want too many carbs during the summer? Just serve it over a crisp, fresh green salad. No pasta in the house? Try it with rice or with a chunk of crusty bread to sop up all that garlic butter sauce. It’s really that versatile!
How do you like to enjoy a plate of shrimp scampi and its buttery garlic sauce? Let us know!