This a delicious recipe for lemony shrimp scampi served over spaghetti for an easy weeknight meal.
I make no secret about my love for Italian food and, especially, pasta. It is in my blood. So, it is important to come up with different ways to enjoy it. Sometimes, I try to think outside the box (like with this pasta dish)—and other times, I stick with a tried and true recipe, like this one.
There is something so simple and pure about enjoying Shrimp Scampi with pasta. I know you will enjoy this minimalistic and tasty recipe as much as I do.
What is Scampi?
According to the NY Times, scampi are small, lobster-like crustaceans with pale pink shells. They are often referred to as Dublin Bay Prawn or Norway Lobster.
Italian cooks in the United States swapped out scampi for shrimp. They kept both names and that is why we know it as Shrimp Scampi today, even though it is generally served with only shrimp.
Best Shrimp for Scampi?
The best type of shrimp to choose for making scampi would be large or jumbo-size shrimp with shells on. These types of shrimp tend to be more flavorful and have more texture when cooked, making them ideal for shrimp scampi. Additionally, they are also easier to peel and devein than smaller varieties.
Shrimp Scampi Over Spaghetti
This minimalist Italian dish comes together quickly so it can be enjoyed any night of the week.
1¼ lbs large shrimp (peeled & deveined)
16 oz spaghetti
½ cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
½ red onion
3 garlic gloves
½ tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp parsley
salt & pepper
Pasta: Linguine, Angel Hair Spaghetti, and Bucatini all work well.
Wine: Feel free to replace the white wine with equal parts chicken broth, if desired.
Onion: I find the red onion gives a touch of flavor, but use white onion if you prefer.
Alternatives: Check out 14 Ways to Make Shrimp Scampi for more ideas.
How to Make Recipe
The great thing about shrimp scampi is how quickly and easily it becomes a restaurant-quality dish.
Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cooking the spaghetti according to the directions on the package.
While the spaghetti is cooking, add your butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the wine, then add the diced red onion, minced garlic, and ground cumin.
Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Stir to combine everything and continue to cook, stirring on occasion, until the onion becomes soft and develops a bit of color.
Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the skillet and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp changes color, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat and sprinkle on the parsley, then add the juice squeezed from a lemon wedge over the top. Season with more salt & pepper, if you like. Give it a good mix, and set it aside.
When spaghetti is finished cooking, remove it from the heat and pour it into a colander, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water to the shrimp mixture. This thickens the sauce and helps it stick to the pasta.
Carefully transfer the spaghetti to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the cooked shrimp scampi mixture. Serve immediately with remaining lemon wedges.
I recommend you serve the shrimp scampi with a bit of grated Pecorino Romano over the top and a nice side of crusty bread.
This super easy classic Italian shrimp scampi dinner comes together quickly for a simple and satisfying meal any night of the week.
Did you give this shrimp scampi a try? Let me know in the comments below or snap a photo and tag @coolbeanliving on Instagram. I’d love to see it!
Shrimp Scampi and Spaghetti
- 1¼ lbs large shrimp peeled & deveined
- 16 oz spaghetti uncooked
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 lemons cut in wedges
- ½ red onion diced
- 3 garlic gloves minced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp parsley chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- Boil large pot of salted water. Add spaghetti and cook according to package.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, add butter to large skillet over medium heat. Add wine, red onion, garlic and cumin. Season with salt & pepper, to taste; stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes soft and develops color.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp changes, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and add the parsley along with juice squeezed from a lemon wedge. Season with more salt & pepper, as desired; stir well then set aside.
- When spaghetti is cooked, remove from heat and pour into a colander, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Add the reserved pasta water to the shrimp mixture.
- Transfer spaghetti to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the cooked shrimp scampi mixture. Serve immediately with remaining lemon wedges.