Shrimp Scampi with Seasoned Breadcrumbs & Angel Hair Pasta
For this butter- and garlic-infused Italian-American scampi, buy the best shrimp you can find because the success of the dish hinges on the quality of the seafood. For the sauce, I like to use a mix of anise-flavored Pernod and white wine for a unique flavor boost. Adding a healthy dose of crunchy seasoned bread crumbs brings it all together with the perfect textural contrast.
Shrimp Scampi with Lemony Breadcrumbs & Angel Hair Pasta
- 1/4 pound day-old Italian bread, torn into chunks
- 1/4 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced shallots
- 2 pounds U-15 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup minced fresh herbs: tarragon, parsley, savory, chives
- 1/4 cup Pernod
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the bread with the parsley, olive oil, zest and garlic until coarse crumbs form. Season with salt and pepper, then spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp; let cool.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta. Reserve.
Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When aromatic and rippling, add the garlic and shallots, and sauté until beginning to caramelize.
Push the shallot mix to the sides, raise heat to high and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp have barely turned pink and just started to curl up, a few minutes at most.
Add the herbs, toss and cook for a moment. Add the Pernod and wine, and cook until almost evaporated, then add the lemon juice. Swirl and add the butter. Swirl the pan until sauce has come together. Add the reserved pasta to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve, garnishing with the breadcrumbs.