— THIS IS NOT A DIET RECIPE! —
Can I just say… this may look like a ton of work but I PROMISE it is worth it. My non-shrimp-eating friend Stephanie tried this and loved it! In fact, I’ve had so many friends enjoy this pasta, that I took a risk and made it for my boyfriend’s parents for dinner (to be fair, my amazing boyfriend gets credit for taking over the shrimp-frying after I almost burned myself). It totally paid off because it proved to be yummy yet again.
Go ahead. Make a huge mess in your kitchen making this. Once you try it you’ll understand why I keep making it for my friends and family.
*Caution: Do not attempt to make this dish and eat it by yourself. It makes HUGE portions!*
(Simplified) Cheesecake Factory Shrimp Scampi
- 1-2 lbs frozen shrimp (I like the tail off ones from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
- 1 diced fresh tomatoes (2 if you like tomatoes)
- 6-9 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 pt heavy whipping cream. (***If you need to, you can sub half and half, but your sauce will not come out as thick and delicious.)
- 1 cup dry white wine (I skip adding this all the time. Still delicious)
- olive oil
- 5-7 leaves fresh basil
- finely grated parmesan cheese
- one BIG sauce pan
- one large plate & paper towels
For the Shrimp:
- more of the finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup flour
- dash of salt and pepper
- large ziplock bag
1) Defrost the shrimp in a strainer under running cold water for a few minutes. Then, soak the shrimp in milk in a big bowl.
2) Pour enough olive oil in a large sauce pan to cover the bottom, turn to medium high heat. This is the only pot you’ll need for the sauce so it should be big.
3) While the shrimp are soaking and while oil is heating, combine the dry ingredients (flour, a few tablespoons of parm cheese, salt, pepper) in a large, new ziplock bag and shake to mix up ingredients. Put the soaked shrimp about 10 at a time into the ziplock bag. Coat the shrimp with the dry ingredients by shaking the bag around until they are coated.
4) Use a spatula or slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp out of the bag and put them in the pan with the oil. ***Be careful as the hot oil may splash up at you if you drop the shrimp in from too high.*** Let them fry in the olive oil, About 2 minutes per side until golden brown. The Flour that falls off the shrimp will add great flavor and consistency to the sauce.
5) Place finished shrimp on your ready plate with paper towel so that the excess oil soaks into the towel and allows your shrimp to stay crispy. Add more oil to the pan as necessary between batches of shrimp, and layer more paper towels on top of shrimp batches on the plate. Cover and set aside on range top to keep warm.
6) Once shrimp are done, add the garlic to the oil, stir for a few minutes, then turn the heat to medium low. Now add the wine and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and cover, let the wine reduce, about 10-15 minutes. (If you do not have wine, skip this step)
7) In a separate pot, bring water to simmer (for the pasta later).
8) Add the cream to the oil and garlic in the sauce pan and bring it back to a boil. Then turn heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes to let the sauce thicken. While it is simmering, dice your shallot, tomato, and chiffonade your basil. Stir a few tablespoons of parmesan cheese into your sauce, and then add shallot, tomato and the basil. Stir for a moment then add the fried shrimp, and remove the pan from heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Make sure before you finish to taste your sauce and add more salt/parmesan cheese as needed.
9) Bring pasta pot to a boil and add angel hair and cook.
10) To plate, put the pasta in a bowl, pour sauce over the noodles and arrange a few (or a lot of) shrimp on top. Enjoy!