Many of my favorite pasta dishes are oil-based, one of them being the Shrimp Scampi pasta at Tony Roma’s. I used to order it very often whenever I’m there, but during my last few trips I felt rather disappointed by the dish. Theoretically the dish doesn’t seem too difficult to make, so I decided to try it myself. This recipe was based on the one by Tyler Florence, which was getting good reviews.
For my first try, I used diluted apple cider vinegar as a substitute for the white wine called for in Tyler’s recipe, but found the vinegar smell quite strong and unappetizing. I also felt that the pasta did not quite absorb the lovely sweetness of the shrimp. I’ve modified this recipe as notes for my next attempt at making this, and I hope this will get me closer to attaining that perfect pasta dish I love.
Shrimp Scampi Pasta
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 400 grams linguini
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 shallots, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 500 grams large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (daun sup)
For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add 2 tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates, then cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes, until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Season the shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan, set aside and keep warm.
Add the apple juice, lemon juice and reserved pasta cooking water, the shrimp shells, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the shells using a slotted spoon or strainer.
Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the celery leaves and cooked pasta. Stir well and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately, with some grated parmesan if you like.