My 18-year old granddaughter, who is taking a gap year from college, texted recently, asking if I could send her recipes for dishes with shrimp and pasta. She is working fulltime, babysitting and tutoring two elementary school kids, and does house and pet sitting on weekends. All of this has suddenly made her very interested in cooking! Hooray! I pored over my files, and a recipe that caught my eye was Fettuccine with Shrimp and Garlic Butter! It was published more than three decades ago in my first cookbook, Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook, and remains a favorite of my students.
Inspired, I decided to make the dish myself, substituting scallops, which I had on hand, for the shrimp. My spouse and I were not disappointed. Thirty years later the robust flavors of shellfish paired with strands of pasta coated with a rich homemade garlic butter were just as tempting today as they were in the past.
Any pasta dish serves as comfort food, and this delicious and slightly indulgent one definitely brought smiles to our faces. It’s equally good with shrimp or scallops, and if you don’t have fettuccine, you can substitute linguine (as I did). Pair it with a salad of mixed greens tossed in vinaigrette to round out the menu. Now, we are waiting to see if our granddaughter makes her own version!
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Fettuccine with Shrimp or Scallops with Garlic Butter
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp very finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fettuccine with Shrimp or Scallops
1 pd large shrimp, shelled and deveined or 16 large (about 1 pd) sea scallops with side mussels removed
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pds fresh pasta or l pd dried pasta such as fettuccine or linguine
1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
2/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1.Place all ingredients for the garlic butter in a mixing bowl and mix well to blend. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using. (Butter can be made 2 days ahead.) Makes about 3/4 cup.
2.Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.
3.Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Pat shrimp or scallops dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. When butter has melted and mixture is hot, add shrimp or scallops. Cook shrimp, turning, until they turn pink and curl up, about 2 to 3 minutes. If using scallops, cook about 2 minutes per side or until light golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and cook only 2 minutes more. Remove skillet from the heat and cover loosely with foil.
4.Add pasta and generous 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water, and cook until al dente (just tender) according to package directions. Fresh pasta will take only a few minutes, while dried will take a little longer. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and return it to the pot in which it was cooked. Stir in the Garlic Butter and mix until all the butter has melted. Stir in the cream, Parmesan, and half of the parsley. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Gently reheat the shrimp or scallops in the skillet. If using shrimp, toss with the pasta to combine. If using scallops, reserve to place on top of each serving.
6. Mound the pasta in four shallow bowls. If using scallops, garnish each serving with 4 scallops. Sprinkle some of the remaining parsley over each serving. Serves 4.
Adapted from Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook (Workman 1987)