Shrimp scampi has been a favorite dish for shrimp lovers for many decades It is such an easy dish to prepare, but it is a true classic, loved by everyone. The traditional way of preparing the dish is to saute the crustaceans in garlic, olive oil, butter, wine, and parsley. That’s it. But with any dish, there are always many variations, none of which are wrong, and all are delicious. Some people add bread crumbs, and/or tomatoes. I have tried and loved many of these different variations. Shrimp scampi is almost always served with pasta, although it can also be served with rice or over bread, or even over steamed vegetables.
In the United States, we use the term “scampi” for shrimp prepared in the traditional way. However, scampi are actually small lobster-like crustaceans with a pinkish shell, called langoustines or langostinos. They are also known as Nephrons or Dublin Bay prawns. In Italy and the rest of Europe, scampi is made with the langoustines. When the Italian immigrants came to America, they adapted the recipe, using Italian cooking techniques and American ingredients.
Classic Shrimp Scampi
This is all you need to make a classic shrimp scampi.
1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 TBSP butter
2-3 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup Peruvian peppers, optional
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or about 1-2 TBSP dried parsley
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the shrimp and cook until they are pink and cooked through on all sides.
Once the shrimp is cooked, add the white wine, lemon juice, the red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 1-3 minutes, or until the wine reduces by about 1/2.
At the very end of the cooking process, add the parsley and Peruvian peppers (if using) and serve over your choice of pasta, rice, bread or vegetables.
I served my shrimp scampi with some stuffed mushrooms, my garlic cheese bread, and a dry white wine. Simple and delicious!