Monday, February 4, 2013


Another Game has come and gone.  After all the hoopla and anticipation, it’s over.  There was tackling, there were touch downs, we watched the cheerleaders doin’ their thang.  The Game was loaded with furry frolics; it was mutt madness, and oh so adorable.  Why yes, I watched Puppy Bowl IX!  Does Super Bowl have hedgehog cheer leaders?  Do hamsters operate the Super Bowl Blimp camera?  Does Super Bowl have a “Cute Cam”?  I think I’ve made my case.

Do you say it shrimp or sssrimp?  I say shrimp.  My mother in law, Miss Millie, says sssrimp; she’s a Southern girl, I’m not sure if that has something to do with her pronunciation.  No matter how you say it though, shrimp is just sweet and briny goodness.

I had intended on making a shrimp scampi pasta, but I started to feel guilty about all the butter and olive oil that would be consumed.  If I were feeling guilty before I even ate the pasta, how would I feel after eating it?  I decided that I had to lighten it up, cuz I did not want to feel guilty!
The light version of Shrimp Scampi pasta has spinach for some good nutrition, I also use some white wine and pasta water to create the sauce, so that I could use less butter and oil and still have a gosh, darned tasty dish!

So go ahead and eat a heaping bowl of Lighten Up Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach, you’ll be glad you did!

Did I mention that the longest part of this recipe is waiting for the pasta to boil?  This dish takes no time at all to whip up. 

Here’s what you do.

Get the aromatics together.  Shallots, garlic, flat leaf parsley and lemon.

Give the baby spinach a rough chop.

Peel and devein the shrimp.  Unless you were smart enough to buy your shrimp already peel and deveined!  Season the shrimp with a little salt and pepper.

The shrimp will cook in about the time it takes for the pasta to cook.  Cook the pasta to just a little under al dente, about 2 or 3 minutes less than the package directions tell you.

Heat a little olive oil and cook the shrimp in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on this side.

When the shrimp have turned pink on the under side, turn them over and add the shallots and the garlic.  I decided to add some crushed red chili pepper after the fact, but this would be a good time to add them.  Cook for about another 2 minutes.

Add some white wine, and allow the wine to reduce by half.

When the wine has reduced add the spinach.  I like to season the spinach with a little salt and pepper at this point.

When the spinach is mostly wilted, stir in a pat of butter.

Drain the cooked pasta, but reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water.

Add the cooked pasta along with the parsley and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.

When the pasta is perfectly cooked squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the pasta.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

This is how much sauce I like.  If you like more, add the remaining reserved pasta water a little at a time.  I was keeping this dish light, but you can add more butter if you like.

Serve Lighten Up Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Spinach with a lemon wedge and some grated Parmesan cheese.


 Serves 4
¾             box        Pasta, such as Spaghetti, Angel Hair, linguini; a box is one pound
1 ¼           lbs.        Medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
                            Salt and pepper
3              Tbsp.      Extra virgin olive oil
1                           Shallot, minced
3 to 5        cloves    Garlic, minced
                Pinch     Crushed red chili pepper
1-6           oz. bag    Spinach, roughly chopped
3/4           cup        White wine
1 1/2         cups      Reserved pasta water
1              Tbsp.      Butter
2              Tbsp.      Flat leaf parsley, chopped
1                           Lemon, cut half of the lemon into 4 wedges for garnish, use the juice from the other half in the pasta.

  1.       Cook the pasta in salted boiling water to just under al dente; this will be 2 to 3 minutes less than what the pasta package directions say (it will cook further in the sauce).  Drain the cooked pasta, but reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2.       Meanwhile; season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  3.       Heat the olive oil in a large skillet between medium and medium high heat.
  4.       Add the shrimp to the hot pan.
  5.       When the underside of the shrimp has changed color, about 2 to 3 minutes; turn them over.
  6.       Add the shallots, garlic, and crushed chili peppers to the shrimp.  Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring to keep the garlic from burning.
  7.       Toss in the spinach; season the spinach with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8.       When the spinach had barely wilted, add the white wine and allow the wine to reduce by half.
  9.       When the wine has reduced, stir in the butter, and add the cooked pasta along with about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.  Toss and cook until the pasta is completely cooked.  If the pasta is too dry, add a little of the remaining pasta water at a time; until you have the amount of liquid you like.
  10.   Add the chopped parsley, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the pasta, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11.   Cut the other half of the lemon into wedges, and garnish the pasta with the lemon wedges.
  12.   If desired, serve the pasta with grated parmesan cheese.


  1. Looks delicious! I have some shrimp in the freezer and I would love to try this recipe out soon!

  2. Hi Kari,
    Your Shrimp Scampi Pasta looks so delicious!
    Ideal for our warm summer here in Lima,will try it soon.
    The pictures and the colors are very pretty :)

  3. Shrimp Scampi is my go to meal when we eat at Italian restaurants and for some reason, I have never made it at home. I'm so excited to try your recipe and love that you added spinach in there for some extra nutrition! It look perfect!!

  4. This sounds delicious! A nice lighter version of something I normally think of as creamy.

  5. I bet this was tasty - it certainly is beautiful. Lovely dish! And I didn't want the game, not really on purpose, everybody else in my house watched it. I went to bed at 7:00 and slept 11 hours. Must have needed it more!

  6. Adding white wine: ALWAYS a good idea. Seriously. :-)

  7. We fixed this for a six person dinner party and it was really good. Everyone enjoyed it.

    1. That's great Nick! I'm glad that y'all liked it!