Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta
Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta is one of my favorite easy dinners. Ready in minutes, quickly cooking shrimp pairs beautifully with delicate angel hair pasta and a sauce rich with lemon, butter, and plenty of garlic. It’s simple enough for weeknight dinners but it’s also fabulous when needing an impressive meal for last-minute guests.
Shrimp scampi is on the menus of many Italian restaurants, but it’s easy to make this restaurant-quality dish at home. In fact, it is super simple and ready in minutes, making it a great choice whenever you’re short on time but still want a tasty meal.
Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta
When I was newly married, my Aunt Ellen shared this easy pasta recipe with me, perfect for last-minute dinner guests. I’ve made it over and over, for many years. Don’t forget to scoop out the pan drippings of garlic and butter at the end, with a piece of warm bread.
What’s Angel Hair Pasta?
Angel hair pasta, also called capellini, is a thin, long pasta resembling fine strands of hair. It’s one of the thinnest spaghetti varieties available, and it cooks quickly. You can find it in most large grocery stores, wherever you buy dried pasta.
Why I love this recipe
- You can go from stove to table in about 20 minutes.
- It tastes so much fancier than it is! It’s simple to make and is a great shrimp scampi recipe if you’re not super confident in the kitchen.
- This recipe serves 6, but it’s easy to cut in half for fewer servings. Or double for a dinner party.
- A great dish to serve for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or any special occasion.
Gather these ingredients
- Angel hair pasta – Also called capellini, you’ll need 1 pound.
- Extra large shrimp – Look for ez-peel or already peeled and deveined shrimp to make prep easier.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic – Fresh garlic; finely chopped.
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- White wine – Use a dry white wine like chardonnay.
- Lemon – The juice and zest from 1 lemon.
- Parsley – Fresh parsley; chopped.
How to make Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta
- Thaw your shrimp in a large bowl of cold water if they’re frozen. Remove the shells and devein them if needed, then drain the thawed shrimp and pat them dry.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, but cook the pasta for about 1 minute less than the suggested time. Reserve ¾ cups of the pasta water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat while the pasta is cooking. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, then add the shrimp and saute for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked. They should be curled up and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Add the garlic, salt and red pepper flakes to the same skillet the shrimp were in, and saute until the shrimp is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and add the white wine. Turn the heat to high and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the butter, ¾ cup of the pasta water, and the cooked shrimp and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melted.
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the shrimp and the garlic sauce and add the chopped parsley and lemon zest.
- Toss and adjust the salt and pepper, then serve!
Tips & substitutions
- You can use any kind of pasta in this shrimp scampi recipe.
- Look for jumbo shrimp, or 13-25 which means 13-25 shrimp per pound.
- You can pinch the shrimp tails off or leave them on for a prettier presentation.
- Fresh herbs make this dish! Chop the parsley finely and save some to garnish the dish.
With pasta and pasta all in one dish, you don’t need much to go with this meal of Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta. I love serving it with a salad, but a veggie-forward side like Zucchini Parmesan would also pair well with this dish. Add a side of good, crusty bread or garlic bread and you’ll be all set!
Don’t forget to take a piece of bread and soak it in the pan drippings of butter and garlic. So good!
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Heat the leftovers in the microwave or in a skillet until heated through.
Check out these awesome shrimp recipes while you’re here
Get the Recipe:
Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 2 pounds large shrimp
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 7 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅔ cup white wine or chicken stock
- 1 lemon, juiced (and zest)
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
- Salt and pepper
- In a large bowl of cold water, thaw the shrimp. Remove the shells and devein (toss), and then rinse and drain the shrimp. Pat dry on a paper towel.
- Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water (follow directions on the package) over medium heat, and cook until al dente, usually about one minute less than package directions.
- Cook the shrimp: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked. Don’t overcook the shrimp - it doesn’t take long! Remove the shrimp.
- In the same skillet, add the garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and saute until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and add the white wine; raise the heat to high. Let the liquid cook and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, add in the butter, ¾-1 cup of the hot pasta water, and the cooked shrimp and cook for another 1-2 minutes until butter is melted.
Serve the shrimp & pasta:
- Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the skillet; gently toss. Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the skillet along with the chopped parsley and lemon zest.
- Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a serving platter and serve right away! TIP: Keep the butter sauce in the pan for bread dipping.
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I’m Sandy—lover of food, family, cooking, THE BIG BOARD, travel, and bringing people together. Through great recipes and connection around the table, we become better, stronger, and more courageous people. Feasting on Life is real, and every time we do it, we grow a little more. Read more...