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Today’s dinner is Lemony Shrimp Scampi and Linguine with six–count ’em SIX–cloves of garlic.  Don’t worry; it’s not too much. 

Before we begin, I must tell you this recipe took me an hour.  I usually get dinner done in less than thirty, so I thought you should know.  But trust me, for shrimp and pasta.  It’s worth it.

I got this recipe from Melissa D’Arabian on Food Network.  Click here for the printable version.  Melissa, Food Networks’ newest star, knows her stuff.  She’s got four girls under four years old, her husband’s from France, and she cooks dinner for four under ten dollars.  But  apparently, she doesn’t do it fast.

Here’s the line-up.

Believe it or not, the shrimp is actually not a budget-buster. Mine was about five dollars.  Everything else in this is really cheap.  (Notice my free with pizza red pepper flakes.  Do stuff like that and you can afford shrimp every now and then!) 

Unless you can smell the sea from your fish market, frozen shrimp is freshest.  Mine comes already de-veined, but not shelled.  So, the first thing to do is thaw under running water,

and remove the shells.  Put the shells in a small sauce pan.  Since we’re serving this shrimp in pasta, you can remove the tails too.  Add them to the saucepan, as well. 

By the way, if you’ve not familiar with shrimp.  The “vein” is not a vein, but actually an intestinal tract.  That means the stuff inside is not blood, but. . . well, not good to eat.  If your shrimp has that–it’s a black line along the back of the shrimp, not the legs side–you’ll need to cut a small groove in the back of the shrimp and remove the “vein”.  Rinse your cleaned shrimp to remove any residue.

We’ll add one quarter of an onion, sliced, to the pot and start that to boil.  We’re making a quick shrimp stock.

Also, get some water on to boil your linguine. 

Now for our marinade.  I tried to grate my garlic, but I don’t have a microplane and this grater was not cooperating.  You can do like I did and dice your six cloves of garlic. 

Add the juice and zest from one lemon, the crushed red pepper, and salt.

Stir in five tablespoons of olive oil.

Toss with the shrimp.

This is a good time to work on any side dishes you have planned.  I served it with broccoli–roasted in a 400 degree oven with a little olive oil.

When your pasta water is boiling, add a good amount of salt and then, the pasta.  Set your timer for 2 minutes less than the package suggests.

Now, heat a skillet to high.  Take the shrimp out of the marinade and cook them through, about 3 minutes.  Shrimp cook really fast and turn rubbery when over cooked.  As soon as they’re pink, they’re done.

Remove them to a plate.  Then put the rest of the marinade in the skillet.

Let that cook a bit and drain your shrimp stock.  Be sure to pour the liquid into a bowl and strain out the shells and stuff.  It would be like me to get moving too fast and pour the stock down the drain and keep the shells! 

Don’t do that.

Add a cup of that stock to the skillet.  (I had leftover stock.  Freeze it for another day!)  Add half a cup–a good ladle full–of the pasta water.  Pasta water has starch in it and will thicken the sauce.

Let the sauce reduce by half.  Add the juice and zest of another lemon and a few tablespoons of butter. 

Add some chopped fresh parsley. (My grocer was out of parsley–oops, I guess we’ll have to make do.)

Now, add back in the shrimp and pasta.  Toss to combine.

I served mine along-side my broccoli.

I think it’s missing something.

There.  No pasta dish is complete without a little cheese.

And just think what you’d have to pay for that at a restaurant!


 Edit:  We found the recipe to be more lemony than we had expected.  Also, I only used the one little pepper packet.  Melissa calls for a whole teaspoon.  It was plenty spicy for us–actually more than we prefer, but not remotely uncomfortable, just had a pepper flavor we’re not used to.   My little ones did not complain and they usually do.  If your family is not big on the heat, I’d recommend only a half teaspoon of pepper.