Baked shrimp scampi with linguine and zucchini buttery and delicious – and easy enough for a weeknight!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed something: I NEVER want to cook on Monday’s. Monday’s are always long and busy, and when I get home I just want to relax. So I decided to plan quick, easy, and irresistible dinner for Monday nights. That way, I have no excuse to order in instead of cooking. This shrimp scampi was the perfect Monday night meal – the rich, buttery shrimp with a pop of citrus served over linguine and sauteed zucchini was on the table in under 20 minutes. And only dirtied two pots! With a meal this delicious and easy planned, there’s no justifying getting take-out.
My inspiration for this recipe came while I was flipping though this months issue of Food and Wine magazine. Two dishes caught my eye: one was a pasta tossed with zucchini and the other was a baked shrimp scampi. I love the idea of tossing zucchini with pasta – its a great way to add some bulk and stretch one serving of pasta into a filling meal. The zucchini soaked up the flavors of the scampi beautifully, and it was easy to forget that there were vegetables hidden in your pasta as you were eating it. This scampi recipe is adapted from the one in the magazine, but by butterflying the shrimp and stuffing it with the butter mixture I was able to reduce the amount of butter significantly. I really liked the addition of the lemon zest in this recipe – it cuts through the richness of the butter really nicely and lifts the flavor of the dish.
I can’t stress enough how easy this dish is to make! It involves little more than boiling a pot of water and cutting a zucchini into matchsticks (a good chance to practice your knife skills!). Since I used fresh pasta which cooks in just a few minutes, the majority of the time spend preparing this was simply waiting for the water to boil.
- 2 Tbs butter, divided
- 1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 2 servings fresh linguine
- 1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- ¼ pound shrimp, peeled
- Preheat oven to 450. Bring a large pot of salted water for the pasta to a boil.
- Melt 1 Tbs butter in a large oven-proof sautee pan set ove high heat. Add zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Remove zucchini from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving as much better a you can in the pan. Cover zucchini and keep warm.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining butter, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting a slit down their backs, taking care not to cut all the way through. Divide the butter mixture between the shrimp, stuffing it into the slit that you just cut. Add the shrimp to the pan that you used to cook the zucchini. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and the butter is melted.
- Shortly before the shrimp is done, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
- Remove shrimp from the pan. Add the pasta and zucchini to the pan, swirling it around to mix it together and coat it with any melted butter. Serve the shrimp over the pasta.