Shrimp Scampi with Green Onions and Orzo

Today’s disclaimer:  this recipe contains butter.  Real butter.  Lots and lots of creamy, delicious butter.

If you’re the type that avoids this ingredient for whatever crazy reason, like if staying in the good graces of your favorite cardiologist is a priority in your life, then just keep on walkin’.  This ain’t the dish for you.  But, if you could give a rat’s pa’toot about what your neighborhood heart doc has to say, and if your personal trainer needs more hours…well then stick around, friend (get it?  STICK around?)!

I decided on this super quick dish while I slogged through the carpool line at school today.  Truly, some of my best recipe inspiration comes when I’m suffering in traffic circle.  Just when I’m feeling a road rage induced aneurysm coming on, a brilliant dinner idea will speak to me.  Scampi…shrimp scampi.

There it was.  The bumper-to-bumper and gridlock ceased to annoy me.  And I was at peace.

Two different types of shrimp are on special this week.  Choose whichever size you please!  I went with the Censea Brand Cleaned, Jumbo Shrimp.  At 8-12 per pound, these shrimp are huge!  I took off the tails and sliced the shrimp half horizontally.  They cook a little faster this way, and I love how they curl up like a corkscrew…so pretty!

I used orzo because I had it on hand, but you could swap in whatever pasta you like.  Several different Barilla pastas are on sale; any small cut would be good.  I was feeling quite lazy and didn’t want deal with a salad (it happens), so I covered the veggie course by tossing a whole bag of baby spinach in with the orzo during the last minute of cooking.  And we had crusty French bread on the side to mop up all the extra BUTTER!

Now I’m off to take my Lipitor … Enjoy!


Serves: 4


  • ¾ c. orzo (rice-shaped pasta; I threw in a whole cup)
  • 4 T. butter, divided (I know, make your peace with it)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/3 c. dry white wine
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice and lemon wedges for garnish if desired
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Add shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add scallions and toss until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 1 minute longer.  Add wine and toss until wine boils, about 1 minute (you can reduce it down farther if you like, I did).  Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.  Top with shrimp and onion-garlic butter. Garnish with additional sliced scallions, lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | April 24th, 2010