Three months ago, Big Mony Merchandice turned thirteen. Ever since his birthday, I find myself getting misty eyed whenever I look at him. He’s growing up too fast, and I’m not prepared. Five years ago, he was this little boy giggling and racing up the street with his little brother. Five years from now, he’ll be in college and on his way to becoming a grown man. It’s too much for me to think about right now.
Until then, I’ll enjoy having Big Mony around, looking at his handsome face and hugging him every day. I’ve added his favorite meal to our regular dinner rotation. At least twice a month, I whip up a pot of shrimp scampi with linguini just so my oldest son knows how much I love him.
This special dish comes together rather quickly with simple ingredients. Shrimp, butter, garlic and pasta make for an easy weeknight meal that is sure to satisfy.
Let me know when you make this recipe. Take a picture and hashtag it #QUEENCITYKITCHEN. I can’t wait to see what you post!
Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
Makes 4 servings
1 (16-ounce) box linguini
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
⅓ cup finely chopped shallots (2-3 shallots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Coarse-ground black pepper
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the linguini and stir to separate the pasta. Return the pasta to a boil and cook until al dente, according to the package instruction, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are just pink, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil in the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice and pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 minute. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss with the parsley and cooked pasta. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.