Thrifty Thursday: Shrimp Scampi Pasta

This week’s “Thrifty Thursday” was inspired by my pantry and my crying bank account after a long weekend at Universal Studios and Disney World. I dug around and magically found all of the ingredients for a popular pasta dish, Shrimp Scampi. I think the only ingredient I had to buy was parsley, but that could easily be substituted with dry parsley you’d find in the spices aisle if you had that laying around.

I’ve provided some money-saving tips next to some of the ingredients. Hope that helps make you Thursday a little thriftier!

Shrimp Scampi Pasta: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil – Buy big bottles of oil if you cook a lot, and generic grocery store brands work just as well as the fancy expensive stuff!
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp (raw; 20 to 25 per lb) – Again, buy a frozen bag of shrimp! I cannot stress enough how convenient it is to have!
  • 4 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled and forced through a garlic press – If you cook with garlic a lot, but a jar of minced garlic – It’ll save you time, and more importantly, save you money!
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt – Like other popular types of seasoning, buy larger containers since you’ll likely use it very often!
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (I found this to be too much, feel free to reduce it to 3 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 lb capellini (angel-hair pasta) – I used whole wheat pasta because that’s what I had in my pantry
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

  • Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
  • Add garlic to oil remaining in skillet along with red pepper flakes, wine, salt, and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.
  • Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and stir in shrimp.
  • Remove skillet from heat.
  • Cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.
  • Toss pasta well with shrimp mixture and parsley in large bowl, adding some of reserved cooking water if necessary to keep moist.
While you may not have all these items readily available in your kitchen, the point I want to get across is that you probably have a meal waiting for you in your kitchen and you don’t even realize it! Get creative, think outside the box, and see what happens! I prefer to cook from a recipe, so “throwing something together” normally scares me. However, if you know the general ingredients of a dish, like I did with this pasta dish, you can google a recipe to provide you with some basic instructions. Good luck, and happy eating!

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