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Pasta with Shrimp Scampi Sauce

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Here’s a relatively new favorite at our house and I apologize in advance for the ambiguity of the recipe. I haven't mastered the skill of conveying my own recipes with precision. Just work with it until you get it right. The measurements are as close as I can remember. One time I added too much red pepper flake (or so I thought) and Dylan and Nick thought it was even better, so try that if you like a bit more kick. I still like the milder version and I’ve made it enough times to know that it’s a keeper.

Ingredients Needed For Pasta with Shrimp Scampi Sauce
4 qts water
2 TBS salt
enough pasta (Linguine, spaghetti, or fettuccine all work very well here, but I’ve been meaning to try penne.)
3 TBS salted butter (DON’T use margarine, please!)
2 TBS olive oil
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 TBS McCormick Italian Herbs (Use the grinder one. I’m sure fresh herbs would be divine, but who has that kind of time?)
1 sm jar sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
Juice from one lemon
plenty of white wine (I've used Pinot Grigio and Riesling with success. Sauvignon Blanc produces a more tart taste that I didn't like.)
some Salt and pepper
2 ½ -3 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed (23/25 or smaller usually works well for this dish)
1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped (from the salad section of the produce dept.)
plenty of Freshly grated parmesan

Directions To Prepare Pasta with Shrimp Scampi Sauce
Heat a large pasta pan with water and a dash of salt. Once the water boils, add the pasta. Simmer the pasta just until it is al dente (with a slight resistance to the teeth when you bite into a piece). I swirl a bit of olive oil in the pasta when it’s done so it won’t stick.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian herbs. Sauté them for no more than a full minute. (If your fire is too high, the garlic will burn and the dish will be ruined. Just let the garlic and red pepper infuse the oil/butter with their flavors. It won't take long.) Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and the lemon juice. Add about a half to 2/3 of the bottle of white wine. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and let it cook uncovered until it reduces by at least a third, which should take fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on the wine. You’ll be able to tell when it’s ready because the alcohol smell will diminish and the garlic and herb smell will rise above. If you still smell and/or taste the alcohol too strongly, it’s not ready. When the sauce is ready, stir in the shrimp and spinach. Cover the sauce and let it simmer for no more than two or three minutes at the most. When the shrimp become opaque and the spinach has wilted, immediately remove the sauce from the heat. (Overcooked shrimp is rubbery.) Serve the sauce over the pasta. Top with parmesan reggiano. I usually put out a loaf of lightly toasted Italian bread for everyone at the table to tear off pieces and dip them in the sauce. A nice salad works well with this meal, too.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017, 4:57 pm

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