There’s nothing tiny about the flavor in today’s celebrated dish. April 29 is National Shrimp Scampi Day!
“Scampi” is the Italian word for shrimp, and refers to both a type of shellfish and a preparation. Technically speaking, shrimp scampi translates to “shrimp shrimp” which is pretty redundant, unless you’re Little Caesar’s (“pizza pizza!”). It is essentially shrimp cooked in garlic, butter, lemon juice, and white wine, and typically served over pasta. Shrimp scampi was basically unheard of prior to World War II; during the 1950s and ’60s, many Italian dishes caught on and went mainstream – including scampi, cacciatore, and Sophia Loren.
Shrimp scampi is pretty easy to make, and delicious! I used the below recipe, which I found online and modified slightly.
1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the wine and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
Serve over the pasta of your choice.