This week I’ve been in a bit of a rut in what feels like every aspect. All I’ve wanted to do is just read, read, read. With exams and deadlines, including trying to figure out a place to move when our lease ends this year, I really shouldn’t be relaxing and reading my days away. But you know.. sometimes you just have to push the lists aside and breathe. This afternoon, it’s back to business as usual, though!
It’s restaurant week here in Buffalo, so I’m not cooking as much this week – too many good deals! I did make some shrimp scampi over the weekend, though. After having one of the best shrimp scampis I’ve ever had when we were in Vegas, I couldn’t get it out of my head. AND it was paired with the first chardonnay that I’ve actually liked (they’re usually too oaky for my tastes – Alex calls it buttery). I knew I had to make it at home, especially since we had some chardonnay on the wine rack that we had yet to try.
This dish, while definitely not exactly healthy since I didn’t skimp on the butter and oil much, is probably a good deal better for you than what you’d have in a restaurant. It’s so quick and easy, and perfect for those nights that you want to feel like you’re having a treat. Paired with homemade garlic bread and a glass of wine, it’s the best meal for an at-home date night!
I used pre-cooked and peeled shrimp (just tails on) because I’m lazy about peeling my own shrimp; it just makes it that much easier. With pre-cooked shrimp, you just have to make sure it’s not overcooked, as it can get rubbery really fast! I did this by adding it in towards the end, and just letting it simmer lightly in the sauce. Perfecto! The sauce is made with white wine, so you definitely need to have a glass as you’re cooking – it makes everything more exciting. I used chardonnay, as I mentioned above, and I definitely recommend it, as it has more depth of flavor. But choose your favorite white wine for cooking! Soon, I’ll have a recipe for a great homemade garlic bread. I’m still experimenting with what I like best.
What is your favorite dish to make for date nights at home?
- 8 oz. linguine pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (from 1-2 lemons)
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 16 oz. frozen shrimp, defrosted, shelled, and deveined (I used pre-cooked, pre-peeled, tails-on)
- parmesan, freshly grated, for sprinkling
- red pepper flakes, for sprinkling
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cooking until the onion is translucent.
If using UNCOOKED shrimp, add the shrimp, and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip, and cook for about 1 minute on the other side. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate, and set aside.
Add the lemon juice, white wine, and red pepper flakes to the skillet, heating over medium heat until it has reduced slightly.
Add the shrimp back into the pan, along with the cooked pasta and about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, and reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes (if you used PRECOOKED shrimp, add it now).
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the other 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to thin if desired (I only used 1/2 cup). Remove the tails from the shrimp before serving (you don't have to do this, but it makes it a lot easier on the people eating it!).
Serve sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan and more red pepper flakes. I also recommend garlic bread and a glass of wine. 😉 Enjoy!