Shrimp Scampi Pasta

by Liz on March 8, 2011

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Until last night, I think it had been about two weeks since I had cooked a proper dinner. My schedule had been getting so hectic, with school, work, work functions, applying to universities for next semester (I’m a transfer student), trying to get homework done in a timely manner, making sure I still had clean clothes to wear, and most importantly, hanging out with my awesome husband. We ended the two-week craze by heading to Asheville, North Carolina to see two of our favorite hometown bands, Cursive and Bright Eyes. We had a great time in the mountains, seeing good music, and hanging out with old friends.

chopped garlic anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes

Monday, it was back to reality. I was determined not to let another day go by without cooking some real food. This is where I admit that this recipe is from Rachael Ray. Why do I always have to defend this, I am not sure. Most people I know who have actually cooked her recipes admit that they always turn out pretty good. This is the second time I have made this because I liked it so much, and I was determined to share it with you all, or, “y’all” as they say here in the South. Shrimp is one of my favorite foods, I think because I grew up in Nebraska where there was decidedly a lack of shrimp in my life.


Since we’re on the subject of shrimp, I’m going to clue you into a shrimp-buying tip. If you live near a Whole Foods, it is worth it to buy your shrimp there in the frozen bags. They are 1-pound bags, and are $8.99 (at least near me), while a 12 or 14-ounce bag at your regular grocery store or Walmart is usually more expensive.  While some items are certainly more expensive at Whole Foods, many things are in fact much less expensive than at your average grocery store, and these shrimp are one of them. Also, these shrimp taste really good. If you do not live near a Whole Foods, I would say it’s worth your time to find out where you can find the least expensive shrimp that have the best flavor, but of course this is coming from someone who really really likes shrimp. Ok, I’ll shut up about the shrimp now.

anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes reducing wine. mmm.

There are so many things I love about this recipe. One thing I had forgotten was that this is a one-dish dinner. How many times do you go to make a pasta dish, and you have to boil the pasta separate from the other parts? What’s so great is that you throw the raw shrimp and pasta right in the cooking liquid, and it all turns out beautifully.

shrimp and pasta cooking zested lemon and basil
Shrimp Scampi Pasta Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Look and Cook

I didn’t really change anything about this recipe, but I think you could get away with only using one pound of shrimp, as opposed to two pounds, like I did, or 2 and 1/2 pounds like the recipe suggests. Let’s be honest, shrimp isn’t cheap, and two pounds of shrimp doesn’t make for the most cost-effective dinner.  However, if you’re like me and always wish there were more shrimp in your pasta, then I’d recommend using two pounds.


3 tablespoons olive oil
6 anchovies (I buy those Cento ones)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
2 stems of fresh oregano, leaves stripped and finely chopped
A generous handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1 pound linguine
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I buy my shrimp frozen, raw, tail-on, and de-veined. I then thaw it out fairly quickly by submerging it in cold water for a half-hour or so.)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 cup fresh basil leaves, about 20, torn
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the garlic, pepper flakes, and anchovies, breaking up the anchovies with a spoon. Cook until anchovies melt into the oil, about 2 minutes. (Note: I found that they popped a little bit in the oil, so try to stand back from the pan a bit, or wear an apron so you don’t get oil splattered on yourself).  Add the wine, parsley, and oregano and reduce wine for about 1 minute.  Add the butter to the pan, melting it completely into the sauce. Add the chicken stock and two cups of water to the pan, and bring to a boil, keeping heat on medium. Simmer for about 7 to 8 minutes until the pasta is done and the shrimp are firm. (It might seem at first like there is going to be too much liquid, but don’t worry it will eventually reduce down to be a great sauce.) Stir in the lemon zest, juice, and basil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve pasta in a bowl with piece of good garlic bread.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

WeLoveChicken September 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

It looks so delicious! I love pasta with shrimp and lots of garlic.

carolyn March 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm

This looks amazing- I am totally trying this one out once school chills down!

Liz March 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

KB: So glad you like both bands! I’m originally from Omaha, and so once it was the trifecta of shows, with Cursive, Bright Eyes, and the Faint all playing the same show. I don’t think that’s ever happened again since. And this was like, 9 years ago or something. Anyway, gotta give major love to Omaha bands, especially now that I live in another indie/hipster town. =) Oh, and I hope you get a chance to make the scampi sometime soon!

KB March 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Ok, first of all: kudos for great taste in music! Up here in VT almost no one has heard of Cursive and while more have heard of Bright Eyes, I have NEVER heard those two bands referenced in the same breath before. I literally had to reread your sentence, haha. They definitely make it into my top 10 list but you are the first person I know to like them both as well. *tips hat*

Second, the shrimp scampi looks delicious! We don’t have Whole Foods here and so shrimp (like good steak or lobster) is a celebratory ingredient in my house, but I now have a recipe the next time I need to whip up a bday dinner or perk-up meal. Thanks!

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