Our linguine with shrimp scampi recipe is a slight variation on pasta with clam sauce. The dish starts with the best shrimp you can find (avoid farm raised shrimp if you can), lots of sliced garlic, tomato paste, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil. We also like to dice the uncooked shrimp into pieces so that the shrimp breaks down a bit and contributes to the sauce and so that you’re not biting into large pieces of fish (again, the goal is to create a lovely fish sauce not pasta with whole shrimp as most Linguine with Shrimp Scampi recipe seem to do).
On the pasta shape selection, we like to use either linguine or spaghetti and avoid short shapes. Oh, scampi is the Italian plural of scampo (shrimp in Italian); specifically, they refer to the marvelous langoustines found in Italy (and more akin to miniature lobster than the typical shrimp consumed in America). The Italian American version of Shrimp Scampi substituted langoustines for the shrimp available in the US and added butter, lemon juice ,etc. (most langoustines recipes in Italy feature white wine, garlic, and olive oil). Langoustines are hard to find in the US, so you can substitute good, Gulf region, wild shrimp (they are expensive, but one shouldn’t consume too much shrimp given their high cholesterol so splurge when you’re craving shell fish) .
Finally, we break the rule that states grated cheese should not be used in pasta dishes with fish (and if you like good grated Grana or Parmigiano Reggiano with pasta and fish sauce/condiment, then go ahead and use it!).
- ½ pound of linguine
- 1 pound of wild shrimp (less if you're buying the jumbo variety)
- Bunch of parsley, finely diced
- 7-8 cloves of garlic, diced or sliced
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- pasta water to loosen sauce if necessary
- 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes , and extra virgin olive oil to a large pan, set flame to medium and cook for 5--8 minutes. Add diced shrimp and salt and pepper to taste, cook for 5 minutes. Next, add tomato paste and mix well. Add a bit more olive oil if necessary. Add half the parsley and mix well. Add the linguine to the pan with sauce and mix well. Add a bit of pasta water and fresh extra virgin olive oil as well as the remaining parsley. Serve hot with grated cheese and glass of crisp white wine.