A very easy weekday meal that has loads of flavor that everyone will enjoy.
Recently, I had a chance to buy a kilo of shrimp from a colleague’s friend who farms shrimp in Mukah, on the central coast of Sarawak. This shrimp had been harvested just the night before and looked temptingly scrumptious. I tossed a few ideas around but then decided that for such fresh shrimp, I would keep it simple, so I went with shrimp scampi.
I don’t really have a recipe for shrimp scampi but I know that it’s a very simple, basic dish that calls for butter and garlic and some parsley. I had everything except the parsley but I decided that I would go ahead with the dish using what I had on hand.
The one key ingredient I added was sun-dried tomatoes and let me tell you something—shrimp scampi with loads of butter and garlic is yummy BUT shrimp scampi with loads of butter, garlic AND sun-dried tomatoes is YUMMIER!
For a weekday meal, this dish could not be easier. And my whole family inhaled this in no time flat. Two weeks later, I made it again for a fellowship evening, and even with a lot of other foods, this huge bowl of pasta got devoured very quickly.
Shrimp Scampi with Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe
Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 20 min
1 kg shrimp (about 2 lbs), any size you like but medium-large is preferable
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz butter
1 small head garlic, minced (about 5-6 Tbsp)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped or in strips (make sure you get some of the flavorful oil from the jar in your sauce too)
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, or more to taste
about 1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
500 g linguine noodles
chopped parsley/green onions (for garnish)
1. Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta. Let your linguine cook while your shrimp scampi is being prepped and cooked. Don’t forget to salt your pasta water liberally before cooking the pasta (my rule of thumb is that it should taste like the sea, about 1 Tbsp of salt or more)
2. Peel shrimp, saving as much of the meat from the head as possible. Soak the shrimp in a salt brine (fill bowl with the shrimp with water until shrimp is submerged, sprinkle on 1 Tbsp salt and stir and let sit for 30 minutes).
3. In a large heavy-bottomed pan, heat up 3-4 Tbsp olive oil and a half stick (2 oz) of butter on med-high heat. Just as the butter is almost melted, add the minced garlic and saute till lightly brown.
4. Remove shrimp from brine. Rinse and drain then add shrimp in one layer to the pan. Turn the heat to medium and let cook for about 2 minutes, flip and let the other side cook till just pink. Add the wine, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon juice. Let the sauce simmer for about a minute.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add your cooked linguine to the pan and toss with the shrimp and sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning or add more olive oil, if needed. Finish by adding parsley or green onion and giving it a final toss.
7. Serve up and enjoy!
Some tips on the shrimp—get the ones with the head on if you can. You want to peel everything off but get as much of the stuff in the head to come off too—when the shrimp is cooking, the tomalley from the head will thicken the sauce and add sweetness and wonderful shrimpy flavor to your sauce.
If you want, you can leave the tail on for prettier presentation but I just peel them all off for EASIER eating. ^_^ Finally, I find that brining the shrimp for about 30 minutes prior to cooking helps to give your shrimp an added bounciness and crunch. I just soak the peeled shrimp in a bowl of water and add about 1 Tablespoon of salt to it, and I drain and rinse the shrimp off before using.
What would you do with fresh shrimp like this? Leave a comment below and share with us!