This dish is a bit like Shrimp Scampi but, not so bold and intense in flavor. The creaminess, provided by the half-and-half, along with the pasta turns a wild Shrimp Scampi into something gentle and soothing.
4 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
4 garlic cloves
1 lb large, raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
2 green onions
¼ cup fresh basil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup half-and-half
12 oz dry pasta (I used Farfalle – butterfly pasta)
Ingredients for the sauce thickener:
1 Tbs softened butter
1 Tbs flour
Ingredients for the garnish:
½ cup diced tomatoes
2 root ends of green onions
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp garlic powder
You should prepare all of the ingredients in advance. Shrimp cooks very quickly and you want to have all of the other ingredients ready when you need them.
Boil the pasta to al dente. Normally I would use lots of water but this time, I wanted the noodles to keep some of their starchiness so that the sauce would cling to it better.
While the pasta cooks…
Pulverize coarse salt and red chili flakes in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Chop the garlic and slice the green onions. Reserve the root portions of the green onions. Set aside.
Prepare the sauce thickener by blending the flour with the softened butter. I like to use a fork for blending. Set aside until needed.
Prepare the garnish by dicing the tomato and roots of the green onion.
Drain the pasta but do not rinse. Set aside.
Strain the garnish to remove the olive oil and vinegar. Set the garnish aside.
Rinse the shrimp under cold water and remove the shells.
In a large skillet, add 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Simmer at low heat.
Add the garlic and crushed salt and red chili flakes. Simmer at low heat for about two minutes. This will allow the garlic to mellow a little.
Add the shrimp to the pan. Turn the heat to low/medium.
Stir the shrimp until they turn from translucent to slightly pink.
Add the green onion, basil and lemon juice to the pan and stir for about a half minute.
Add the sauce thickener and mix with the buttery sauce. It should thicken within a minute or so. Add the half-and-half and stir.
Add the Parmesan cheese.
Turn the heat off and add the pasta. Stir a few times and remove to a serving bowl.
Top with the tomato and onion garnish.