Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 7th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Prepare a shrimp and pasta dinner in less than 30 minutes!
How about preparing a complete meal for four to six people in less than 30 minutes? All you need is this recipe and perhaps a side salad and some garlic bread. I was inspired to create something with seafood that was not only delicious, but fast and easy. I also wanted to create a recipe that could be made in less than 30 minutes – from start to finish! And seafood is a miracle food containing a lot of health benefits! Did you know that eating just 8 ounces of seafood per week reduces the risk of heart disease by more than 35%? Did you know that the fatty acids found in seafood can actually make you live longer? Yes – these are scientifically proven facts! How exciting is that!?
My love of shrimp scampi started early. When my Grandpa Max and my Grandma Deloris would take me out for seafood, shrimp scampi is what we would always order. It wasn’t until just recently that I started adding pasta to my shrimp scampi…and I discovered that I loved it even more! Baking it in the oven with grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs take it to the next level and add a “salty crunch” to the dish.
Shrimp Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta
Frozen smaller shrimp are best used for this recipe. Adding salt to the boiling water is very important in “flavoring” the pasta. It’s really your only chance to do so. Undercooking the pasta will allow the pasta to finish cooking in the hot sauce and in the oven at the end. I used “Panko” style breadcrumbs for more of a “crunch” but regular breadcrumbs are fine. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
12 oz. precooked frozen shrimp (small sized, cooked, peeled, deveined, tail off)
1 stick of butter (4 oz.)
¼ cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
Juice from 2 lemons
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup bread crumbs
Start by getting your pasta water ready. Fill up a large pot (about half way) with water and place over “high” heat.
Next, melt the stick of butter together with the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run cold water over the shrimp for about 5 minutes, to thaw out the shrimp. Toss the shrimp a few times to ensure even thawing.
Once the pasta water starts to boil, add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir gently and then add the angel hair pasta – cooking it only for 4 minutes.
Set a timer for 4 minutes and preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Once the shrimp is thawed, remove from colander and place in skillet with melted butter, olive oil and garlic.
Squeeze into the skillet the juice of 2 lemons and sprinkle in the black pepper, stirring well to combine everything. Keep the heat under the skillet to medium.
With the pasta still al dente (meaning still firm to the bite) carefully reserve about ¾ cup of the starchy cooking liquid from the pot and then drain. Return the pasta to the pot.
Add the shrimp scampi and it’s sauce to the pasta and stir really well to combine – distributing the shrimp evenly throughout the pasta.
Add the reserved starchy cooking liquid. (How much you use here will be up to the pasta – but generally you will add about half of what was reserved. When the pasta is slick and glossy – enough has been added.)
Next, spray a medium sized baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and pour in the combined shrimp and pasta and even out with the back of a wooden spoon.
Evenly top the shrimp and pasta with the grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Place into preheated oven for 5 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and serve hot.