Shrimp Scampi with Spinach.
Linguine tossed with sauteed shrimp and baby spinach in a garlicky, buttery, white wine sauce. This simple pasta dinner is quick enough for a weeknight dinner, but special enough for a weekend dinner. And, since we are all going to be eating in every night for the unforeseeable future, this shrimp scampi is a great dish to jazz up your weekly rotation – it’s bright and fresh, yet comforting.
A College Favorite.
When I was in college, at Boston University, whenever my dad would come visit we would go to Legal Seafoods in Boston for dinner. My family (parents and 2 younger sisters) was living in Vienna, Austria at the time and sometimes my dad had to travel back to the states on business alone, so we would have our father-daughter dates at Legal. I would always get the shrimp scampi over linguine – pure comfort food. It was so garlicky, buttery and delicious. And, it was served with amazing fresh rolls (which have since not become so fresh) and butter, so you could soak up all that garlicky goodness.
I’m not sure why, but until recently, I had not made shrimp scampi at home. Which is a shame, because it’s quick, easy and can be made (mostly) with pantry staples, which is very important given our current life situation. This scampi rivals any restaurant’s scampi.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
Shrimp scampi is typically shrimp sauteed with a lemon, white wine, garlic, buttery sauce, served (most of the time) over pasta. Here, I’ve added spinach, because a) veggies(!) and b) it adds a nice freshness to the dish, as does the lemon and parsley.
Pasta. A Pantry Staple.
I think it’s safe to say we all have stocked up on pasta. Right? Under normal circumstances, we have pasta once a week, but with this new normal and trying to minimize going to the grocery store, pasta is probably going to grace our table 2-3 times a week. Which is fine, because with the addition of veggies and protein, this is a healthy meal. This scampi is going to be added to our weekly rotation. If you prefer, you can use whole wheat pasta. We used to buy only whole wheat, but now we only buy regular pasta – we just prefer the taste and the mouthfeel. Sure, you get more fiber, vits/minerals from whole wheat, but this dish is still a healthy meal that you can feel good about feeding your family.
This dish is a complete, balanced meal – veggies (spinach), protein (shrimp), carb (pasta) and healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil) all in one dish. Plus, you get some immune-supporting Vitamin C from that squeeze of lemon. And, sure, you can serve this shrimp scampi with a salad if you have lettuce and other fresh veggies on hand, but lettuce isn’t one of the items we are needing to keep stocked in our fridge.
How do I make Shrimp Scampi? It seems fancy…
It’s not fancy and it’s not just for the restaurants. It’s easy to make at home! Basically to make this scampi dish, you’ll cook and drain linguine, reserving some of the pasta water. Then you’ll saute garlic, add wine and baby spinach. Then saute up shrimp, toss it with the pasta and spinach, then serve with shaved parmesan and lemon wedges. Simple. Fresh. So good!
A few Recipe Notes:
- If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use frozen, thawed and heat spinach. Just squeeze the spinach to drain off much of the water, then add it to the wine sauce, just as you would the fresh spinach
- You can use any kind of pasta you have on hand
- I set aside plain pasta with olive oil for the kids, as they won’t eat this
- Frozen shrimp is a staple in our freezer – you can use it for so many dishes. Highly recommend keeping some on hand if you don’t already.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. If you do, they’ll turn rubbery. Take them off the heat as soon as they’ve lost their translucency.
- Always wash your hands before making meals/snacks and after touching raw seafood/meats/poultry. Make sure you keep raw produce separate from raw meats. And always wash your produce and herbs before eating or cooking.
Here’s how to make this Shrimp Scampi with Spinach:
Shrimp Scampi with Spinach
- 1 lb linguine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine such as pinot grigio
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 12 ounces peeled and deveined tail-on frozen shrimp (21-25), thawed* and patted dry
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup loose fresh parsley washed and 1roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese or use grated
- 1 lemon washed and cut into wedges
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook until just before al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water and place pasta back into the large pot.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until wine has reduced a bit, then add spinach. Stir, then add to pasta.
- In the same saucepan you used for the spinach, add the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry, then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add to saucepan and cook about 1 minute on each side, until opaque and cooked through. Don't overcook the shrimp!
- Add shrimp and chopped parsley to the pasta and spinach and toss gently with tongs. Drizzle in a bit of pasta water, toss gently again (this should help smooth the sauce and provide silkiness to the dish). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve linguine with shaved parmesan and lemon wedges for squeezing overtop bowls of scampi.
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Need some more great shrimp recipes? Here ya go: