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Quick Lemony Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes & Garlic

Jun 2, 2014 | 2 comments

Who doesn’t love shrimp scampi? It’s garlicky, lemony and delicious! This recipe is a riff on shrimp scampi, adding fresh tomato and basil or parsley. Very quick to make, so a perfect choice for a weekday meal. I think a few variations could be quite fun here…basil gives a hint of licorice or anise flavor. Other things that do the same are fennel, tarragon and alcohols like Pernod. It could be fun to substitute one of the herbs for the basil in this recipe, or replace 1/4 of the wine with Pernod. And for anyone who doesn’t like the licorice-like tastes of any of those items, just stick to the parsley, and you’ll still have a delicious dish!

I think this dish took me a total of 20 minutes to make start-to-finish, so long as you cook the shrimp/sauce and pasta in parallel, allowing for the proper cooking time for the pasta (3-4 minutes of fresh, more like 12 minutes for dried pasta…just follow the package instructions).

4 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 medium-sized uncooked shrimp (about 1/2 pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup dry white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 cup basil or parsley leaves, finely chopped
10 oz pasta (dried or fresh)

Serves 2.

Put the water onto boil for the pasta in a large pot, with plenty of salt. Once the water is near boiling, begin preparing the shrimp and sauce (you want to allow about 12-14 minutes total to prepare the shrimp and sauce, so put the pasta in accordingly with the goal of having them done at the same time).

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of oil over medium -high heat. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the shallots and garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and shallots are getting tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is opaque and tightly curled, about 3 minutes per side. Using a spatula, remove the shrimp to a plate or bowl (you can leave the shallots and garlic in the pan). Turn the heat up to high, and add the wine. Boil until reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and tomatoes, and continue to boil at high heat for an additional minute. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed, finish by adding remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, the basil and/or parsley and the cooked shrimp. Reduce heat to medium-low and let shrimp warm through.

Drain the pasta and place an appropriate serving amount on each of two plates. Top with half of the shrimp, tomato and sauce mixture and serve.

Bon appetit!



  1. Naomi Starr

    Hi Whitney! I love seeing your recipes on Facebook. Actually tried this one tonight and it was delicious as promised, I will definitely add it to the repertoire and make it again. Pretty easy weeknight meal. Seriously I have no idea how you have time for all your cooking and writing projects with your big-time demanding job – you are an inspiration! Miss you and Eric – hope we can visit on one of your NY trips.

    FYI the recipe says to divide the butter but doesn’t say when to add the second part. I guessed and put it into the wine right after it was reduced and before adding the cherry tomatoes. Seemed to work out well – the sauce soaked into the pasta nicely and made a flavorful dish. We used fine linguini.

    Lots of love,

    • Whitney

      How great to hear from you, Naomi! And thrilled the recipe worked for you…thanks for the excellent catch on the butter. Will fix that immediately. Finding time to cook is just one of those things I have to do…too much of a passion not to make the time despite travel, long hours and a long commute. It’s my “come down from a long day” time!

      I see from your Facebook posts that you seem enormously happy. So very pleased for you to have found love and to have kids, too. Congrats on finding such bliss. 🙂

      Miss you too, and will definitely let you know when Eric and I are next in NY. My recent trips have been in and out in less than 24 hours with no free moments, but that’ll change eventually!

      Love to you, too.


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