Ramp season is winding down but I’ve still got a few bunches left. This week I’m taking an old restaurant classic and adding a seasonal twist, turning shrimp scampi into a rampy shrimp scampi. Yeah that’s right, shrimp sc-ramp-i.
I guarantee you’ve all seen this dish on a menu one time under ‘seafood entrees’ at a restaurant, served with pasta or rice or plain. A brief look at the history of scampi tells us it was originally made with langoustines, a.k.a. Norway lobster. If you plug ‘scampo’ (singular of scampi in Italian) into one of those online translators you get ‘Dublin Bay prawn’ and ‘Norway lobster.’ This kind of explains why you’re more likely to see this dish simply as ‘scampi’ everywhere but the USA. Here in America ‘scampi’ refers to the preparation rather than the ingredient, thus shrimp scampi, even though technically you’re ordering ‘Shrimp Prawn.’
What’s the preparation style? Shrimp in a garlic lemon butter sauce. It appears the cooking process can be any one of baked, broiled, or sautéed. You can see why this was (maybe still is) a staple on restaurant menus. Simple preparation and I’m guessing a pretty low per plate cost. 6-8 shrimps in butter, topping some linguine at a ‘seafood’ price. Regardless, people seem to like shrimp scampi or else it wouldn’t be on menus.
Anyway, I knew I had a scampi recipe in my mom’s recipe books and a quick look confirmed it would be easy to change ingredients and use ramps instead. Her recipe calls for ¼ C of chopped onion and 3 Tbs of minced garlic which make it very flavorful on its own. But since I needed to make it a very rampy shrimp scampi I substituted ramps for them.
This turned out really well, very buttery, rampy, and the shrimp had a nice sweetness to them. The ramps definitely added a different flavor profile to the scampi. They really infused themselves into the butter. I don’t’ think I have to tell you sopping up the remaining sauce with some bread was sooooo good! You can serve this over pasta but by it can easily stand on its own. Even If you don’t have any ramps I encourage you to try the original way. It’s really delicious. Even if it is has a repetitive name.
Shrimp ScRAMPi (4 servings)
- 2 lb shrimp, shelled and cleaned
- ¾ C butter
- ¾ C chopped ramps (original recipe calls for ¼ C finely chopped onion and 3 Tbs minced garlic)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ Tbs lemon juice
- ¼ C chopped parsley
Over medium heat burner melt butter in a large skillet. Sauté ramps for a couple of minutes then add shrimp. Remember, the smaller the shrimp, the faster they cook. Pay attention here, should be cooked in about 5 mins.
Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside on a platter.
Add the lemon juice and salt to the butter and ramps in the pan. Whisk in and heat.
Remove from heat, pour over shrimp and sprinkle with parsley. You can try to serve this over pasta or rice but just cut some crusty bread and eat. The bread will come in handy when it comes time to clean the pan.