Shrimp Scampi- My 5yr old's favorite meal

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If you ask my son Jackson what’s your favorite food, he’ll tell you its shrimp scampi.  I always think “that’s my boy”.  I told him that one-day he’d be able to make the scampi from start to finish because it’s that easy. 

After school he helped me prep the shrimp and the ingredients for the scampi.  He did everything from rinsing and peeling the shrimp, to helping juice the lemons.  Touching the shrimp made him squirm a little, but all in all he was so proud that he helped cook his favorite meal. 

1 lb medium size raw shrimp (buy cleaned and peeled as an option)

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 tsp crushed red pepper (if you like spicy, double the portions)

3/4 cup white wine

½ cup olive oil

3 tbs unsalted butter

zest and juice from one medium size lemon

½ cup parsley

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Salt to taste

Grated Parmesan-Reggiano

1 box of your favorite pasta. We love thin spaghetti with this recipe.

Get your water started for your pasta.  Then gather all your ingredients and start prepping.  Jackson and I did all the prepping after school so when I was ready to cook, the prep was all done.  

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When the water is boiling, add the pasta, as the sauce only takes 10 minutes or so.  Add olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to a large saucepan on a medium setting.  You do not want to fry the garlic, so it’s important that you keep the heat on medium to medium high for 3-4 minutes.  Then add the white wine and salt to taste.  This is where your sense of smell comes in.  You’ll want to cook for about 2-3 minutes until you cannot smell the alcohol in the wine.  No worries if you can’t tell the difference, 2-3 minutes should suffice.  Then add the lemon zest and butter.  Once the butter is melted then add the lemon juice.  I just learned from my apprenticeship at Hugo’s that it’s important to add the citrus at the last minute if you want to maintain the sour lemon flavor.  I add it now, because I want the shrimp to have the lemon flavor.  You can also add half of the lemon juice now and the other half right before you serve it.  It just depends how much lemon you like in your scampi.

Once sauce is complete, add raw shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.  You want the shrimp to be pink and slightly curled.  If you cook the shrimp to long it could get rubbery.  Once the shrimp is cooked add the cooked pasta right to the pan.  Remove the pasta with tongs and let the excess water drip off.  You do not have to drain the pasta because the starchy water adds to the sauce. 

Top pasta with parsley and grated parm and serve immediately.  Sometimes I serve the kiddos a little bowl of their own cheese so they can add it themselves.  This is and will continue to be a staple meal in our house and a family favorite.  Hope it becomes yours as well.