This Spicy Shrimp Scampi is dredged in a spiced flour mixture, making this extra delicious and even a little elegant! It's pretty enough to serve guests and easy enough for a family meal.
This Spicy Shrimp Scampi was inspired by a dish that was on the menu of the restaurant I worked in while attending college. I would arrive at the restaurant at 4:30 PM for dinner service and work until 11 PM or midnight with just a short break. Before working as a server I had never eaten too much seafood. But since this was a seafood restaurant, the large trays I carried were filled with bowls and plates of steaming, delicious fish dishes. I couldn't help but want to taste them all!
At the end of a shift we could order one menu item at half off the price, and believe me, we were hungry! One of my favorites became the chef's shrimp scampi. In addition to being cooked in a lemon butter sauce, it was dredged in flour first. This gives an added dimension of texture and flavor to the shrimp. When recreating it, Vince and I decided a little added spice would make the flavors even better. So here you have my Spicy Shrimp Scampi.
Serve this with our Arugula Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette...it's the perfect meal!
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Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, see Gr8 Notes below
- 1/2 cup milk, this can be a dairy free milk, if desired
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, about 1/2 of a large lemon
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 fresh lemon, thinly sliced for garnish, if desired
- 1 pound linguine
- Start a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. You will want to add the linguine just as you are beginning to cook the shrimp.
- Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on. To butterfly the shrimp, use a sharp paring knife and make an incision down the back of each shrimp about 1/4-inch deep. Remove the vein and discard.
- Rinse the peeled and butterflied shrimp in a colander and let drain.
- In a shallow bowl or pie pan whisk together the flour, salt, paprika, pepper flakes, and black pepper.
- For the milk I measure it into a 1-cup liquid measuring cup and use that for dipping the shrimp.
- Heat 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- With the side of a wide knife crush the garlic cloves and add them to the oil. When the oil is hot and the garlic is fragrant, remove the crushed cloves from the pan.
- Meanwhile, when the water is boiling, add the linguine and let it cook while you are cooking the shrimp. Just before the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat. The linguine will continue to cook in the hot water until you are ready to transfer it to the sauce.
- Dip shrimp into the milk then dredge in the flour mixture. Be sure the flour covers the whole shrimp, including in the butterflied crevice.
- When the oil is hot, stand the shrimp up on their butterflied backs and cook until golden, about a minute or so. Turn the shrimp and cook each side until golden brown all around. Shrimp should be cooked and golden brown in 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a nearby warm plate.
- I do the shrimp in 2 batches, 10 shrimp each batch. After the first batch add 2 to 3 more Tablespoons olive oil to the pan.
- When all the shrimp are cooked and out of the pan, pour the white wine into the pan scraping up the yummy browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by about half.
- Add the butter to the wine mixture. When the butter is melted add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
- Using a spaghetti server or tongs transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce. If necessary, add some of the pasta water until there is enough sauce to satisfy you.
- Stir in the chopped parsley.
- Stand the shrimp up on top of the pasta and garnish with lemon slices.
Gr8 Tips:Jumbo shrimp are counted as 21 to 25 shrimp per pound. I like to serve 4 shrimp to each guest; which for 4 guests should leave enough left over for seconds. Click here for a shrimp sizing chart.
I love using my red chili pepper grinder when cooking with red pepper flakes; it breaks them up a little for more coverage. And if you are looking for a gift for someone who loves red chili pepper flakes, this is perfect!