Splurge

Every now and then, you need to splurge. Sometimes it's shoes (a lot of times), sometimes it's chocolate, sometimes it's hours of browsing Pinterest. This time, it's a buttery bowl of pasta with heaps of garlic and shrimp. An old favorite of mine, shrimp scampi. The moment Lent was over, all I wanted to get my hands on was a giant bowl of pasta, with a side of crusty bread.  To me, scampi is the quintessential pasta dish with which a loaf of crusty bread must be served. Here we have my version of shrimp scampi.

Shrimp Scampi

1 12.5oz package capellini noodles (or vermicelli)
1 lb raw jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
4 vine ripened tomatoes (seeds removed and cubed)
10-12 cloves garlic (minced, don't skimp)
1 shallot (diced)
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
6 tbsp butter (don't skimp)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dry white wine (like a Chardonnay)
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Italian parsley (diced)
salt and pepper
3/4 cup reserved pasta water
1 loaf crusty sourdough bread

In a high lipped saute pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for 5 minutes and add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and soft. Add white wine, lemon juice and zest, tomatoes and some additional salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, to thicken. Add shrimp to the sauce, turning once to cook both sides. The shrimp will cook in approximately 5 minutes.

As sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add capellini, and cook for 3 minutes. Ladle about 3/4 cup pasta water to the sauce before draining.

Add capellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Let cook for about 1 minute. Top with parsley. Serve piping hot with a huge chunk of bread and a glass of your favorite wine.

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