Compound butter, shrimp in the shell, and on the BBQ, make this recipe for BBQ Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Spaghetti a cinch to put together, and delicious to eat.
The Making of BBQ Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Spaghetti
When I was visiting Seattle, I went to Pike's Place Market and bought a bunch of seafood. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, halibut, lobster tails, and colossal shrimp. I mean huge shrimp. Ginormous shrimp. Six shrimp to the pound gigantic shrimp.
Almost like a slipper lobster.
BBQ Shrimp on the Barbie
Being so large, these shrimp are perfect for the grill. When I do grill them I grill them with their shells on to keep them moist and tender like my recipe for Ginger-Mint Grilled Shrimp.
Brian and I love shrimp scampi, but, as it's getting into that summertime weather, I wanted to do our ginormous shrimp on the BBQ. Well, I thought, why not stuff them with the garlic butter, put them on the grill, and let them stew in their own juiciness?
Why not indeed.
Scampi done in the shell
I made a flavorful compound butter of garlic (lots of garlic) along with chopped parsley. Spread that along the top of the shrimp and pushed some down into the shells; then generously peppered them. Popped them onto the grill, with the open side up so the butter could melt into the meat of the shrimp. Once the butter was nicely melted, the shrimp could then be cooked quickly on each side until cooked through. A squeeze of lemon juice over the top finished them off. As we removed the succulent shrimp from their shells; they had all the flavors of the butter and garlic but were not overly oily. Flavor not fat and...so so good.
The Spaghetti part of the program
The spaghetti noodles were tossed in a quick sauce of olive oil, garlic, anchovies (don't make a face, they add a lot of flavor but do not taste fishy at all) along with some fresh basil, parsley, and capers...
As always, I like to make my "sauce" a little ahead of time so the flavors have time to meld together. About 15 to 20 minutes. And I always save some pasta cooking water to use to thin the sauce so it's more saucy. You can even add hot pasta water after the dish is served, as sometimes the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid and needs a little "loosening" on the plate. Just heat it up, pour a little over the pasta, and stir with your fork, or spoon. Really, not all the cooking needs to happen in the kitchen.
Put it together and what have you got?
LindySez: I was so excited the other day when I went to my local fish market and found that they had colossal shrimps that I can get any time I want. Seattle is a great place to visit, but it's a long way to go to get shrimp for tonight's dinner. If you can't find shrimps as large as mine are, you could use a slipper lobster tail instead. Just cut the top shell open so you can stuff the butter into it and cook as I did the shrimp. Or, think ahead and order some from Pike's Place Fish Market. They deliver, anywhere in the U.S.A. for free. As in, no charge.
Wine Recommendation: This dish is perfect with a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.
BBQ Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Spaghetti
- For the BBQ Shrimp Scampi
- 4 3 ounces Colossal Shrimps, (or slipper lobster tails)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic mince it really really fine, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley also mince really fine, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Generous amount of fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- For the Spaghetti
- 4 ounces spaghetti or linguine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon or to taste, red pepper flakes
- 2 anchovies drained and mashed
- ⅛ - ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ⅛ to ¼ cup basil leaves torn (I had some growing in the garden, so I just used whole baby leaves, but torn leaves work too)
- 1 tablespoon capers rinsed (optional, but they do add a nice tang)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese not the green can, real cheese please
- Reserved pasta water as needed
- Prepare the shrimp: Clean and devein the shrimp and cut the shell so you can get the butter into it. (when you devein the shrimp it should make a pretty deep cut into the flesh if it doesn't cut them so they are at least cut half-way through to allow the butter to get inside). Keep the shell on, the legs can stay too, they will cook-off.
- Mix the garlic, minced parsley, and salt together in a bowl. Split evenly among the shrimps, stuffing the butter onto the top and down the sides of the shrimp. Heat the BBQ to high heat.
- Prepare the spaghetti: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute then add the mashed anchovies...cook until the anchovy is well incorporated into the sauce, stirring well. Shut off the heat and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cook the spaghetti or linguine as directed, drain reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Cook the shrimp on the hot BBQ starting with them upright. Once the butter has fully liquified and is coating all parts of the shrimp inside the shell, turn to each side to cook until the shrimp is cooked through; about 5 - 7 minutes total. You want the shrimp to be opaque. Do not over-cook. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm.
- Once the shrimp is ready; turn the heat on under the skillet; when hot add the pasta; toss until well coated. Add the capers and red pepper flakes and cook 1 -2 minutes until hot. Toss in the parsley and basil and toss to combine, add pasta water until you have a fairly loose sauce; remove from the heat then add the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.
- Remove the shrimp (and hopefully warmed bowls) from the oven. Squeeze the lemon on the top. Split the pasta between the two warmed bowls and top with the shrimps. Sprinkle with additional parsley if desired. Serve.