There are few meals that taste as good as Shrimp Scampi but it’s one of those dishes I’ve always been afraid of because it’s typically so high in fat and carbohydrates and all around just not all that healthy. But it’s almost always possible to create healthier versions of these heavy, cream-based dishes without actually sacrificing flavour, and that’s exactly what I’ve done with this dish. It’s simple and easy to make, with fresh, healthy ingredients that make it a perfect everyday meal you can prepare in under 30 minutes! And it tastes even better than it looks!
This recipe is adapted from Chef Michael Smith’s Brown Butter Shrimp Scampi recipe that you can find here.
one large handful of whole-grain spaghetti noodles (enough to serve 6), and salted water for boiling
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
5 garlic cloves, chopped
24 large shrimp
1/4 tsp chili flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp paprika
a dash of freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1-2 cups fresh spinach
fresh flat-leafed parsley for garnish (optional)
Start by setting a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Since you’ll be using this water to cook the spaghetti noodles, it’s important to salt the water generously. I’ve heard it said that the pasta water should taste like the sea, so I use a few good pinches of salt and it always works well.
For recipes like this, a ‘mise en place’ is a really good idea. ‘Mise en place’ is French for ‘to put in place’ and it refers to a chef preparing all of the ingredients for a dish in advance of cooking, to create a more streamlined cooking process (there’s nothing like madly chopping something that should have gone into the pan 5 minutes ago…am I right??).
So, while you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, prepare the shrimp by rinsing them and removing the shells and tails (if you wish…I left the shells on, as you can see in the photo). Measure out the oil, the butter, the white wine, the whole milk, the chili flakes and the paprika. Chop the garlic, slice the cherry tomatoes in half, chop the parsley (if you’re using it), and set out the spinach.
When your pasta water has boiled, add the spaghetti and boil it according to the package directions until it’s done to your liking (we like ours al dente).
While the pasta cooks, set a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and butter and once it heats up add the chopped garlic. Saute the garlic for about a minute and then add the shrimp, along with the chili flakes and the paprika.
Once the shrimp begins to turn pink, toss it in the pan with
the garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika and pepper for another minute or two.
Add the wine to the pan and toss the shrimp in it briefly before turning the heat to low and covering the pan.
Let the shrimp simmer in the wine for about 5-6 minutes or until the shrimp is completely pink and cooked through (check it every minute or two to be sure the shrimp doesn’t over-cook).
Once the shrimp is done, turn off the heat and add the whole milk and stir briefly before letting the shrimp rest in the sauce for several minutes.
By this time, your spaghetti should be done. Drain it and add it to the pan with the shrimp and sauce, along with the spinach and the cherry tomatoes.
Toss everything together well until the spaghetti is coated in the sauce and the tomatoes, spinach and shrimp are dispersed throughout. Cover the pan and let it sit off the heat for 2-3 minutes to give the spinach a chance to wilt slightly.
Right before you serve, garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and you’ve got a fresh and healthy restaurant-worthy meal!
Doesn’t it look delicious??
This recipe makes 6 servings and each serving (with 1 cup of spaghetti noodles) is only 8 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, making it the perfect healthy choice for dinner. And the best part is, everybody else at the table will love it too!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite easy healthy meal?