Sunday, April 24, 2011

shrimp scampi pasta

Shrimp Scampi (with Yellow Lemon & Cherry Tomato) Pasta

This is another favourite pasta dish of mine. If you ever notice, I don't like pasta with cream sauce. I personally think that cream is too rich and too creamy for any savoury dishes. (To me, aromatic creamy food is good for dessert.) I like my pasta cooked very light and summery. (I, sometimes, cook creamy pasta for the kids though as they love it!) The heaviest pasta dish that I ever cook for myself is/was with beef or lamb. (Heavy with protein not with cream.)

Anyway, I cooked this "Shrimp Scampi Pasta" last week. This pasta dish is very  aromatic and delightful. The yellow lemon really brings out the best flavour of the shrimp. In Thailand, it is impossible to find fresh "Scampi/Langoustine". Therefore, I substituted it with fresh "Tiger Prawn" but I do like a word "Scampi". So, I keep its name in my recipe. You can cook it without tomato but I happen to love tomato. So, I put a lot of tomatoes in there. (Italian sun-dried tomato is also a good choice.)

Find below my simple recipe of "Shrimp Scampi Pasta". Its very refreshing but filling.

1 pound of dried pasta (Long form pasta ; Linguini, Capellini or Spaghetti)
16 medium / 8 big Tiger Prawns, peeled, de-veined and cleaned 
4 cloves of organic Garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 cup of organic Tomato, roughly chopped (Cherry Tomato is as good / halved.)
1/4 cup of Shrimp Stock or White Wine
1/2 Yellow Lemon, juiced (Slice the 2nd half and keep one side for garnish.)
4-5 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 tablespoons of Red Chili flakes
2-3 tablespoons of unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper 

For Garnish
1/2 Yellow Lemon, sliced (Lemon Zest if you prefer.)
Flat-leaf Parsley, roughly chopped
Italian Basil Leaves, roughly chopped (Optional) 
Grated (Parmigiano-Reggiano) Parmesan Cheese (Optional)


Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add plenty of salt. Add pasta, cook till al dente. Drain and return to the pot

Set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and chopped garlic, fry till aromatic. Add tiger prawn, lemon juice, red chili flakes, sea salt,  black pepper and 1/2 of butter. Stir-fry very quickly to combine everything well. Remove the prawn and keep one side. (Be careful not to over cook the prawns. If they turn pink, they are already cooked.) In the same saucepan, with remaining sauce, add white wine or shrimp stock. Continue to cook until sauce reduces by half. Add back the prawns, lemon slices, tomatoes and 2nd half of the butter. Taste if more seasoning is needed.  Add pasta and toss to combine with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Turn off the heat. Remove into serving plates and serve immediately.

Serve : 4

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