Shrimp Scampi (with leftover pasta)

Whenever we make spaghetti, we always cook the whole package because left-over spaghetti is a great thing to have around. We store it in a gallon zip-lock bag, massage a bit of olive oil into the pasta to keep it from sticking and pop it in the refrigerator.

The other night we were hungry but tired and did not want to go to a lot of trouble cooking something. We had frozen shrimp in the freezer and I thought, “Shrimp Scampi!”

Shrimp thaw easily in a bit of running water so that took no time at all. We always buy “tail-on” raw shrimp from Costco. I got a large pot of water boiling and added a large pinch of salt. The recipe asks you to cook the pasta ahead of time. If you have leftover pasta, just warm it briefly in some boiling water… don’t leave it in too long, just a minute will do because you are going to add it to the shrimp to finish the dish.

Author: Jim Kirkley

Serves: 4

Shrimp Scampi


1 pound, spaghetti or linguine – cooked al dente
2 tablespoons, high-quality extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds, large shrimp – peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons, unsalted butter
4 cloves, garlic – minced
2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon, dry vermouth
2 tablespoons, fresh parsley leaves – coarsely chopped
pinch, cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. If using leftover pasta, warm it briefly in boiling salted water. Drain reserving some of the pasta water.
  2. Heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add half of the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, about 1 minute; transfer to medium bowl. Return pan to heat and repeat process with remaining oil and shrimp.
  3. Return empty skillet to medium-low heat; melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, add lemon juice and vermouth. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter; add parsley and cayenne, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return shrimp and accumulated juices to skillet. Toss with some of the pasta and a bit of the hot pasta water to combine; serve immediately.


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