cajun shrimp scampi

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Intensity: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 oz linguine or spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for extra heat)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Instructions:

  1. Cook Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Prepare Shrimp:
    • In a bowl, toss the shrimp with Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook Shrimp:
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned shrimp in a single layer and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until they turn pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Make Garlic Butter Sauce:
    • In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the minced garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
    • Pour in the white wine (or chicken broth) and lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
  5. Add Butter:
    • Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, stirring until it is melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  6. Combine Pasta and Shrimp:
    • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat it evenly with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, gradually add the reserved pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
    • Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and toss to combine with the pasta and sauce.
  7. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the chopped fresh parsley over the pasta and shrimp. Toss to combine.
    • Serve the Cajun shrimp scampi immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Note: This Cajun shrimp scampi is a delicious and flavorful twist on the classic recipe, combining the rich, buttery garlic sauce with the bold spices of Cajun seasoning. Enjoy this dish as a quick weeknight dinner or a special weekend meal!

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