For those of you who love to eat shrimp scampi, but can never seem to replicate that perfect restaurant taste, this is the recipe for you. Years ago when I was making this with a chef friend of mine, I had forgotten an important ingredient… the clam juice from his ‘restaurant’ ingredients list. I didn’t know what to do, but not to worry, as we cleaned the shrimp shells off the shrimp, a light bulb went on and we quickly replicated what I had missed. To both our surprise, a star was born! The shrimp shells became the perfect substitute and the perfect broth… and what a difference it’s made to my Scampi. Some of the best dishes are born out of the excellent mistakes we make…What a flavor punch! It added depth and lightness to the dish at the same time!
Peeled shells from one pound of shrimp
3 cups of water
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tsp old bay or fish seasoning
1/2 tsp celery salt
Peel shrimp, pinch tail off and place shrimp shells in small stock pot. Add water, salts and old bay. Simmer until broth reduces to about 1/3rd the amount (1 cup +). Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside. This broth has both salt and heat…
1 lb shrimp deveined, uncooked with shell on to be removed by you
3 cloves of garlic sliced thin, not diced or minced
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
2 lemons (use zest from ½ a lemon, juice from 1 ½ lemons and slice remaining ½ lemon into thick slices, 3 or 4)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter
1 cup shrimp stock
1/2 cup good white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
2 Tbs chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Lb of capellini pasta cooked to personal tenderness
Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil and 2 Tbs of the butter until melted. Add onion and heat till translucent then add garlic for 1 minute. Next add shrimp and lemon zest to pan and cook until shrimp starts to turns pink (one minute, remove from heat and turn, repeat). Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
Place heat on medium high. Add wine and cook for one minute.
Add shrimp stock and lemon juice then cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Return shrimp to pan, add pasta, parsley, lemon slices and 1 Tbs of butter. Toss and eat!