This fantastic summertime meal is literally done in less than 15 minutes. Because who wants to spend their summer in the kitchen? Spinach and cherry tomatoes give it a fresh and bright feel while the lemon juice makes it pop. And of course, the butter, garlic, and wine bring a rich flavor to the dish. Give this Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes a try tonight and see how simple and delicious it is.
An Interesting Observation
I recently set out to run a casual experiment which allowed me to observe an interesting commonality among people. I know you’ve heard it and so have I that “a smile is contagious.” Therefore, I determined to see if it was so.
My analysis would come from catching a stranger’s eye, proposing a smile and paying attention to their reaction. I notice, almost immediately, these perfect strangers would return a smile in my direction. Well, maybe 95% did. The others were either preoccupied or just flat grumpy. Interestingly we, as human beings, have been created to respond to kindness and human interaction.
A Smile Beautifies a Face
There was another fascinating conclusion though. The very smile resting on their face completely transformed their countenance into something more attractive. And then I realized, smiling actually beautifies our appearance. Note to self, “I need to smile more.”
Something else that might elicit a smile on your face is this Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes.
Tips and Tricks about Crustaceans
Shrimp in any form or fashion is an easy and quick way to serve up a meal. Below you will find a few tips that will help when preparing this beloved “under the sea” crustacean.
How to Choose Your Shrimp:
- Unless you live near the Gulf of Mexico where shrimp are caught wild and you are able to purchase them straight off the dock, frozen is your best bet. Don’t be fooled by the thawed shrimp nestled atop the ice at your seafood counter. They’ve been previously frozen and thawed probably from a bag like what you should be picking out in the freezer section.
- In my estimate, always choose wild caught instead of farm raised. Farm raised shrimp can have high doses of antibiotics, some have a coating of chemicals used to clean the tanks and some are colored with a pink dye trying to appear as wild caught.
How to Defrost Your Shrimp:
- The best way to thaw these frozen crustaceans is to place them in a colander. Cover and set it in a large bowl in your refrigerator overnight. Any of the excess liquid will drain out.
- Another way to defrost the shrimp is to cover them with cold water in a large bowl for about 10 minutes. Drain the water and cover them again with cold water for another 15 minutes or so. They should still be cold when you remove them from the bowl.
- Do not use hot or warm water over the shrimp. And never defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.
How to Devein and Peel Your Shrimp:
- You can buy shrimp already peeled or you can do it yourself. Some people leave the peel on as it can give additional flavor. But to peel, start from the head and peel toward the tail. The legs come right off with it.
- Make sure you either buy them deveined or do it yourself. After you peel the shrimp, take a sharp kitchen knife and slit along the curved back of the shrimp. With the tip of the knife remove the black vein, which is the digestive tract of this little creature. Not a pretty picture. Rinse any residue or grit that may still remain.
How to Cook Your Shrimp:
- Shrimp cooks fast, so make sure and stay close by after you have placed them in the skillet. The number one mistake most people make is overcooking, which results in a rubbery texture.
- Add them in a single layer to a very hot skillet but don’t stir them. Let them sear on one side for about 1-2 minutes depending on how big the shrimp are. Individually turn each shrimp and let sear on the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
- You can tell they are fully cooked when they turn a whitish opaque and the tails become a reddish orange color.
Putting It All Together
Follow the instructions on the pasta box for an “al dente” result. There’s nothing worse than mushy pasta. It can ruin your whole dish. Once the pasta is boiling, you can begin cooking the shrimp scampi right away. Literally, in less than 15 minutes your other ingredients will be ready to join up with the pasta to present a lovely summertime meal. I wouldn’t recommend making this ahead of time because there’s something about the freshness that makes it enticing.
Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes
Shrimp Scampi is wonderful all on its own. How can you go wrong with a buttery garlic and lemon sauce combined with shrimp and pasta? I do love, though, to add a fresh and bright side to this dish. Spinach and cherry tomatoes (halved) not only give it a beautiful color but add some nice texture as well.
It’s important not to let the spinach wilt too much or the tomatoes cook too long. You don’t want them to lose their consistency. It takes a very small amount of time to achieve this, a couple minutes actually. When you add the spinach, you will think there is way too much in comparison to the dish itself. But stick with me and you will see that it cooks down to the perfect amount.
The array of recipes that can be enhanced by these little marvels are limitless. Start with this Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes, add some crusty bread and a side salad and I guarantee you’re gonna make this again and again. Then venture into this easy shrimp appetizer – Shrimp in Sautéed Garlic Sauce. If you make either of these recipes, let me know. I always love to hear from you.
If you remember, I started this post with a “smile.” Now, I think I’m gonna go beautify my face a little bit by smiling at perfect strangers around this town today. It’s nice to know I can infect others with a little bit of happiness.Print
Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes
A quick and easy one-pot recipe that is both delicious and pretty. Adding spinach and tomatoes create a fresh and wholesome meal your family will love.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Pasta
- 8 tablespoons Butter – divided
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Garlic, chopped
- 1 lb Large Raw Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and thawed
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine (I use Chardonnay)
- 1 lb Pasta, cooked (I use Linguini)
- 4 cups Fresh Spinach
- 1 1/2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil, add shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add shrimp in one layer to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Do not stir. Sear on one side for 1-2 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp. Turn the shrimp individually and let sear for another 1-2 minutes. They should be a whitish opaque with the tails turning a reddish orange color. Remove shrimp from the skillet and keep warm.
- Add lemon juice and white wine. Bring to a boil and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Add the fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes along with the cooked pasta into the skillet and gently toss until the spinach is wilted. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the shrimp to the skillet and mix all together.
- Serve warm with crusty bread and a side salad (optional).
- For a quick thawing of the frozen, raw shrimp, remove from bag and set the shrimp in a large bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the water. Add more cold water and let sit for another 10-15 minutes. The shrimp should still be cold when you remove them from the bowl.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of Skillet
- Calories: 536
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 747 mg
- Fat: 22 g
- Saturated Fat: 11 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 60 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 21 g
- Cholesterol: 151 mg
Keywords: shrimp scampi, easy pasta meals, pasta dishes, seafood recipes, shrimp, easy shrimp scampi, pasta recipes