"Forrest Gump" is one of my favorite food movies. What? You don't think it's a food movie? It's totally a food movie. It gave the world Bubba, and gave voice to my love of shrimp. I had never related to a character until I witnessed The Shrimp Speech by one Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue. So much shrimp; so many possibilities. Steamed shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp patties, shrimp and grits — all unequivocally satisfying. But the one shrimp dish that will forever have my heart is shrimp scampi. This is how I do it for lunch.
The first time I had shrimp scampi it was a part of a frozen meal from the Pacific Island version of Costco. It was bagged up and frozen, but delivered buttery, garlicky shrimp in less than 10 minutes — just add pasta! Then I started cooking for myself and found out that shrimp scampi is just as easy to make from scratch.
This recipe cooks pretty quickly, so make sure to start the water boiling before you even get started on the rest. I use frozen shrimp here because it's a protein that doesn't show degradation in quality upon freezing, making it a handy staple to have on hand for quick lunches (or dinners) like this one. Otherwise, count on this as a pretty classic expression of shrimp scampi — just with way more garlic and a hint of heat.
Even more, it reheats well, so if you're making a batch of this for lunch, you can count on every last forkful being as good as the first. A happier desk lunch awaits you!
Garlicky Shrimp Scampi
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound linguini
1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined (21 to 25 count)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots or 1/2 small onion, finely diced
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine (like a Sauvignon Blanc)
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining. Leave pasta in strainer until needed.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté shallots and garlic until translucent.
Add shrimp to skillet and cook just until pink on both sides. Remove to a bowl. Stir in the wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer until reduced by half. Mix in the remaining butter and olive oil until combined.
Increase heat on skillet to medium-high. Toss in parsley, cayenne, and lemon zest, stirring until just combined.
Working quickly, add pasta, water, and shrimp to skillet, tossing until pasta is coated and water has evaporated.
To reheat: Add about 1 tablespoon water before microwaving for 2 minutes on high.
(Image credits: Karla Conrad)