shrimp scampi - a buttery dream come true

There's a secret side to me that maybe I haven't shared yet. Though I try to eat healthfully most of the time, lurking deep within me is a zeal for some of the most delicious and fattening things alive – in this case, butter.

For a recent birthday, I wanted something buttery. For dinner. There were only two people I knew to turn to: Paula Deen and Ina Garten. As a Savannah and South-Georgia native, Paula's over-done accent annoys me and she tends to cook with too many processed foods. She was nixed. Ina it was. Ina's shrimp scampi it was. 

As I sit in an airport typing this at 6:41 a.m., the smell of garlic sauteing in butter is still clear in my mind. (Probably because I usually opt for olive oil ... a true shame now that I think about it.) I can still taste the buttery-parmesan noodles, sharp lemon and sweet shrimp.

Ina's Shrimp Scampi
    •    Vegetable oil
    •    1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
    •    3/4 pound linguine
    •    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    •    2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
    •    1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
    •    1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
    •    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    •    1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
    •    1/2 lemon, zest grated
    •    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
    •    1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
    •    1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

  1. Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
  2. Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.
Happy birthday to me (don't worry – you didn't miss it. It was a while ago!).

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