Shrimp Scampi with Garlicky Spaghetti and Wilted Spinach

Sometimes you have to be a bit lenient with recipes. Like use them as a guide, not set in stone. Shrimp scampi is one of those. A little more of one ingredient, a little less of another. It’s all about going to taste. That’s why the recipe I’m sharing gives you leeway. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take away. I tossed in some garden spinach, making this a yummy, easy summer supper.

Shrimp scampi with garlicky spaghetti and wilted spinach

1/2 to 3/4 pound spaghetti or other pasta

Several handfuls fresh spinach (optional but good)

Minced garlic – just a bit, to taste – I used a small clove, about 1/2 teaspoon

Olive oil, enough to coat pasta lightly – a tablespoon or more

Ingredients for shrimp

1/2 to 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1/4 cup each: butter and olive oil 

4 nice cloves garlic, minced – 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons or so

Salt and black pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste – I used about 4 tablespoons 

Hot red pepper flakes to taste – start with 1/8 teaspoon (optional)

Instructions 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a tablespoon salt.

Add spaghetti and cook 7-10 minutes, until done but not mushy.

Right before spaghetti is done, stir in spinach. The spinach wilts real quick.

Drain and put all back in pot. Stir in garlic and olive oil. 

While pasta is cooking, sauté shrimp: melt butter with oil over medium low heat.

Add garlic and cook a minute or so to bring out fragrance. Be careful – garlic contains natural sugar and it can make garlic burn if heat is too high.

Add shrimp, salt and black pepper and cook just until shrimp turn pink and are done, stirring often, about 5 minutes or so. 

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and red pepper.

Add shrimp to pasta and toss gently to serve.

Gilding the lily: Sliced tomatoes, shredded Parmesan. 

Swap it out

Swiss chard or arugula for spinach. Chard is mild; arugula more nutty, spicy bite.

Dry white wine for the lemon juice. Maybe a couple dashes Worcestershire if you use wine.

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