When I think of shrimp scampi, I’m immediately transported to one of those very 90s Olive Garden commercials with shrimps are flying in the air, followed by slo-mo shots of squeezes of lemon. Obviously, those commercials always made me ask my mom if we could go. We would never go and instead she’d make like spaghetti with eggs or tallarines verdes. It never lived up to that zesty shrimp-y craving I had! But this dish, this Sungold Tomato Shrimp Scampi is it!
Let’s Elevate Shrimp Scampi!
Listen, I’ve never stopped being enamored by shrimp scampi. It’s a wonderful American dish. This one is basically that but with some sungold tomatoes and a bit more flavor.
Let’s talk about the specific flavors and items that go into making a magical, glorious shrimp scampi:
- Lots of garlic. This is an absolute must to any shrimp scampi.
- White wine. This gives a nice bite and acid that balances out the butter.
- Crushed red pepper. I love a bit of heat in everything I eat, truth be told. But it’s really lovely in shrimp scampi.
- Lemon juice AND zest. Both of these add such a lovely brightness to this dish.
- Good quality shrimp. I buy the best shrimp I can afford for this dish because you want them to be meaty and perfectly briny.
- Sungold tomatoes. Of course, cherry tomatoes will work too. I love to blister them at the beginning of this dish. They release their juices and get a nice char that’s such a nice addition to this shrimp scampi.
The tomatoes and shrimp are sautéed at different times but in succession. And then you’re almost half way there. After that it’s just sauce, pasta and then everything tossed together—EASY!
Let me know if you make this Sungold Tomato Shrimp Scampi–it’s truly my favorite!
If you make it, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
- 2 tablespoon neutral oil , (such as avocado oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil)
- 1/2 pint sungold or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
- In a large skillet, set over moderately high heat, add the oil. When the oil is very hot, add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they’re seared, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and remove the tomatoes from the skillet. Add another teaspoon or two of oil. When warm, add the shrimp and season with a few pinches of salt. Cook on each side for about 1 minute, flipping and cooking for an additional 30 seconds or so. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat to medium-high heat and pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to get any bits up. Add the butter and when melted, add the minced shallot and garlic; cook until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add a few pinches of salt and crushed red pepper; give it a mix.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 9 minutes. If you’re doing this while your sauce is cooking, you can always turn off the heat to the sauce and let it chill until you’re ready for it.
- When the pasta is ready, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add half of it (1/4 cup) pasta water to the pan with the butter sauce and bring to a simmer; cook for about 1 minute. Add the pasta, lemon juice and zest and toss until the pasta is completely coated in the sauce. Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to taste. I ended up adding a few pinches more of salt. Fold in the reserved tomatoes and shrimp.