Growing up in upstate New York, any time my family would go out to eat at an Italian restaurant there were always the same two shrimp or prawns dishes on the menu. They were “Shrimp Cocktail” and “Shrimp Scampi.” By the way, as you hear me try to explain during the clip, the only difference between shrimp and prawn is size. I use both terms synonymously in my clips, and can’t pretend to really care that much about which is the correct term. I believe bigger shrimp are called prawns and smaller prawns are called shrimp. Hurry, someone call Alton Brown!
The funny thing about “Shrimp Scampi” is that the term “Scampi” was used to describe a style of dish; one where the shrimp are cooked in a garlic and butter sauce. But, “Scampi” is actually the plural Italian name for a shrimp-like creature that is really a small Norwegian lobster (Nephrops Norvegicus). Confused yet? Just have a glass of wine and enjoy the clip.
My one twist on this classic recipe is the addition of Butter Beans. I love the contrast in textures between the tender prawns and the creamy beans. I used lemon juice here as the acid, but a nice dry white wine also produces a great version. I didn’t add it in the clip but a big pinch of hot pepper flakes is highly recommended, and while the parsley is traditional, basil or dill will also work great as the fresh herb addition. The original dish I enjoyed as a child was always served over pasta, but here I used my carbo allowance on a couple of toast points to soak up the amazing sauce. Enjoy!
1 pound peeled and de-veined prawns (16/20 per pound size)
12 oz jar butter beans, drained
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
2 tbl butter
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
2 tbl water
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
hot pepper flakes (optional)