Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil

Create a quick meal around two of the season's favorite ingredients – fresh basil and succulent shrimp. Remember to reserve a cup of pasta cooking water before you drain the cooked linguine. The starchy, salty liquid brings the wine, butter, and lemon juice together into a bright and silky sauce. This recipe moves quickly, so have all the ingredients chopped, measured, and available before you get started. Substitute chicken stock for the wine, if desired.

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Basil
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 serves


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 12 ounces uncooked linguine

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 pound large peeled, deveined raw shrimp

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for topping

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/3 cup fresh torn basil leaves

  • Lemon peel strips

  • Small fresh basil leaves


  1. Place 4 quarts water in a stockpot; bring to a boil over high. Add 1⁄4 cup of the salt, and stir until dissolved. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain. Reserve 1 cup cooking water; set aside with pasta.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp; sprinkle with pepper and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are partially opaque, about 30 seconds. Add wine and garlic; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are mostly cooked through, about 1 1⁄2 minutes.

  3. Add pasta and 1⁄4 cup of the cooking water; bring to a simmer. Add butter, lemon juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 1 minute, adding more cooking water, 1⁄4 cup at a time, if needed. Remove from heat. Stir in torn basil. Top with lemon peel strips, basil leaves, and black pepper.

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