Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Succulent Shrimp Scampi

Lately I've posted a lot of pasta recipes, but who am I kidding, I love pasta! Especially in the winter when I need something filling, warming and satisfying, pasta is my go-to comfort food. While it is not commonly known as "health food," I believe pasta gets a bad rap. Pasta noodles in fact are virtually fat free, so the "bad for you" only happens when poor-quality and high-fat ingredients are added. While these ingredients certainly have their place, I love making pasta dishes that are healthful, flavorful and satisfying, allowing me to eat pasta regularly without a tinge of guilt! Last night I put my own twist on Tyler Florence's shrimp scampi, a pretty healthy recipe made even better with whole wheat pasta. (If you haven't tried whole wheat pasta lately do it! It is so tasty and loaded with fiber, and it hardly tastes any different than regular pasta!) I loved the recipe- succulent shrimp on a bed of whole wheat fettuccine bathed in a light lemon and wine sauce with tons of sweet onion, parsley, garlic and a hint of crushed red pepper to really bring the flavor to the next level. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi
Fresh, light and healthful shrimp with whole wheat pasta
Serves 4

1 pound whole wheat fettuccine (or your favorite long noodle)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 sweet yellow onion (or 2 shallots) finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the fettuccine. Stir to make sure the pasta separates. Cook a minute or two shy of package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them 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 wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. 

This meal is delicious served with a simple, colorful side salad, such as the one that I created using red leaf lettuce, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, avocado and crispy onions in a sundried tomato vinaigrette. Be creative! 

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