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Linguine with Lemon-Garlic Shrimp

        I’ve yet to find a recipe that comes close to the Shrimp Scampi that I grew up with. It was a dish that was so resolutely garlic-y, you could smell it coming up the driveway.  Later, when I lived in Italy, I found out how off that name is.  Scampi is a shellfish, a langoustine more formally known as Nephrops Norvegicus, or Norway Lobster found in the North Atlantic and parts of the Mediterranean.  In both taste and texture it has more in common with lobster and crayfish than shrimp or prawns. And the pasta dish we loved at home didn’t contain any Nephrops Norvegicus.  It was made with jumbo shrimp, wine, and the aforementioned tons of garlic.  So what’s with the Shrimp Scampi?  It’s almost like calling a dish “Chicken Poulet.”
Nephrops Norvegicus
“Scampi” is often the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine.  The actual word for “shrimp” in Italian is gambero or gamberetto. The term “Scampi” is used as the name of a dish of shrimp served in garlic butter and dry white wine, served either with bread, or over pasta or rice. The word “scampi” is often construed as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient, with that preparation being called “shrimp scampi”, and with variants such as “chicken scampi”. 
Now this recipe for Linguine with Lemon-Garlic Shrimp comes from Fine Cooking.  It’s one of their series of really simple and fast dinner recipes.  Its name wisely eliminates the redundancy of “Shrimp Scampi”.  However it gets very close to what I loved as a child.   It’s deeply perfumed with garlic and lemon.  Then there’s an addition that flies in the face of the Italian edict: Never add cheese to seafood of any kind. In this case, Marscapone, that luxurious Italian cream cheese is added at the end to give the sauce a creamy richness.  Somewhat bizarrely the original recipe is for three people.  I made it for two by cutting down on the number of shrimp.   I would however caution against cutting the amount of sauce down.  And this is one time when you really do need to add a little of the paste water to get your sauce to the perfect consistency.   Here is the recipe:
 
 


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