“Rose all day” is my jam and motto in life. After having a baby and 9 months with no wine, you better believe I deserve a glass of rose…or two. Shrimp scampi is one of my favorite go to dishes for an easy meal. These days, I always have a bottle of rose open, so this dish basically happened by accident in my kitchen and I must say, it’s so dang delicious. Rose wine gives this classic dish a beautiful rosy color and flavor you just don’t get with your typical dry white. Perfect for a backyard lunch or summer dinner and always a crowd pleaser.
How to buy shrimp
Working in the food industry, I have been to countless shrimp farms around the world. Not all shrimp are created equal, so you have to be careful what you buy. It is very common to find additives, such as sodium tripolyphosphates, added to the shrimp. This inorganic compound makes the shrimp plumper by retaining excess water. Sodium tripolyphosphates and other additives will give a spongy, and unusually bouncy texture to the shrimp that Americans are actually accustomed to. I always purchase shrimp with no additives (salt is OK) for the most natural texture.
Shrimp size is categorized by count per pound. 41-50 shrimp means there are on average 41 to 50 shrimp per pound, and is the most commonly sold shrimp size in the United States. 21-25 shrimp per lb. means the shrimp are actually larger than the 41-50 count because there are less shrimp per pound. I also always buy shrimp in the frozen section because the seafood display at most grocery stores almost always sells previously frozen shrimp. You just never know how long it has been sitting there for. Most sushi restaurants (except extremely high end) always buy frozen fish because it is guaranteed the fish has been frozen, preserving the freshness, at the source. In this recipe, I have used 41-50 count, but any size will work.
What is in Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp- In most grocery stores, frozen shrimp will actually be your freshest source. Most of the seafood display cases sell defrosted shrimp and it is difficult to know how fresh it is.
Dry Rose Wine- Most shrimp scampi recipes call for a dry white wine, but the rose wine gives it a fun rosy color and flavor.
Garlic and Shallots- Helps make the sauce and gives the pasta flavor.
Olive Oil and Butter- I like to use a 50/50 combo in many pasta sauces.
Red Chili Flake- Totally optional, but I love a little kick of spice.
Fresh Italian Parsley- Italian parsley lays flatter and looks prettier, in my opinion, but regular parsley works as well.
Lemon juice- The fresh acidic flavor brings all the flavors together.
How to make Shrimp Scampi
- Start off by cooking the fettuccine according to the package. You can also use linguini, angel hair, or spaghetti pasta. Reserve at least a half cup of the cooking liquid before you drain.
- In a large skillet, saute the shallots in olive oil over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and chili flake and saute for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
- Season the raw shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and 2 tbsp of butter and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Shrimp cooks really fast, so you really only need to cook for about 2 minutes per side. The center will be pink and no longer translucent. The center of the shrimp should be at least 145 degrees F. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Add the wine, lemon juice, and remainder of butter and simmer for about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, cooked pasta, parsley, and toss until combined. Add some of the reserved pasta water, as necessary, to thin sauce out. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
Rose Shrimp Scampi and Fettucini
- 1 lb. Fettuccini
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup shallots, minced (approx. 2 shallots)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup dry rose wine
- 3 tbsp lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)
- Cook the fettucini according to directions in salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup hot pasta water and drain.
- In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute the shallots for 4 minutes over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic and chili flake and saute for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and 2 tbsp of the butter to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp is cooked thoroughly. Using tongs or a spoon, remove cooked shrimp and set aside.
- Add the rose wine, lemon juice, and remainder of the butter (2 tbsp) to the pan and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cooked shrimp, cooked pasta, and fresh parsley, and toss until combined.
- Add some reserved pasta water to thin out pasta sauce if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.