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Boston once was a thriving fishing port accommodating fleets of fishing boats.  Boats arrived daily to unload and process their catches for distribution. Locals could purchase their seafoods direct.  Salespeople always recognized mom and me. They always were generous with prices and portions. It was worth the long walk.  Being a Catholic community, in those days, eating meat was forbidden on Fridays.  Every Friday, a seafood vendor setup his pushcart business on Salem and Prince streets.  Shrimp, squid, and cod were covered with chipped ice and sold.  Shrimp was a delicacy and were pricey.  Mom only bought shrimp on special occasions.  She usually served them over linguini with a red sauce or with my very favorite, shrimp scampi.             

Shrimp Scampi

Whether served as a stand-alone appetizer, a main course served over risotto or polenta, tossed with linguini (below), baked in individual phyllo triangles, scampi flatbread, or baked in puff pastry, Shrimp Scampi is incredibly versatile.  This Scampi recipe also is remarkably quick and easy to make, and all applications equally delicious. 

Scampi sauce is prepared in a single pot.  When ready, raw shrimp is coated in sauce, and quick broiled.

  

This is a perfectly proportioned recipe for scampi sauce; garlic, scallions, lemon, salted butter, and olive oil, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.  It balances perfectly with flavorful wild caught shrimp.

Scampi appetizer can be served buffet style or individually plated.  

Sauce ingredients are prepared in only one pot.  Shrimp is coated in the sauce pot and quick broiled on both sides on a cookie sheet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4-pounds large wild-caught shrimp

Scampi Sauce

  • 1 quarter pound of salted butter, one stick
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • Few grinds each of salt and pepper
  • Crostini, optional
  • Chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon wedges

Directions:

  • Remove shrimp shells, with or without tail section left on (I prefer off) and devein.  Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Set them aside.
  • In a pot, large enough to comfortably hold all shrimp and sauce, melt the butter over low heat.  Add olive oil, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside. 
  • Pre-heat the broiler.  Coat shrimp in sauce. Place them in rows on a rimmed cookie sheet large enough to accommodate a single layer.  Line shrimp in rows. Spoon the scampi sauce over shrimp.  
  • Broil them close to the heat for about three minutes or until the tops are partly pink but not cooked through.  Flip them over and broil briefly until just cooked through. Try not to overcook them.
  • Arrange Scampi and sauce on a serving platter or directly on individual plates, crostini optional.  Serve. 

Pasta and Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp Scampi (above) 
  • ½ pound linguini
  • Optional, garnish with chopped parsley

Directions:

  • Prepare Scampi sauce as shown above.   
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.  Add pasta. While cooking, preheat broiler. Coat shrimp and layer them on the cookie sheet with remaining sauce as discussed above.      
  • Once linguini is cooked al dente, strain and return pasta to the empty pot.  
  • Coat and broil shrimp per above. 
  • Carefully pour entire contents of the scampi tray, shrimp, juices, and bits, in the pasta pot with linguini.  Toss and serve. Garnish.
  • Here are some other options.  Full recipes are on my website

 

Buon Appetito

 

About the Author

Peter grew up in Boston’s Italian North End.  His website, www.LuciaTramonte.com, is dedicated to his Mom.  Lucia Tramonte was her maiden name.

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