If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, then chances are you know Lidia Bastianich. An icon of Italian cuisine, Lidia has written cookbooks, hosted TV shows, owned restaurants and won a plethora of awards. It is safe to say that she has influenced the culinary world in immeasurable ways. So when looking for recipes to include in our shrimp scampi battle, it was an obvious choice to include Lidia’s recipe.
Lidia’s scampi recipe uses a pureed paste of shallots and garlic to create the base. She seasons the sauce with thyme, parsley and a good splash of white wine. (More than twice as many as the other recipes I tested!) The recipe looked like it leaned heavily against a white wine flavor profile, so I was curious to see how it would taste. I walked to my kitchen and tried it.
How to make Lidia Bastianich’s Shrimp Scampi
To make Lidia’s scampi, start by blending shallots, garlic and oil in a food processor to form a paste. Set that aside, then add olive oil and more garlic to a pan and simmer for a minute. Add half of your shrimp and some fresh thyme and season with salt. Sear the prawns and place them on a plate. Add the rest of the prawns, sear them and place them (along with the thyme sprigs) on the same plate.
Add some more olive oil to the pan and add your shallot paste. Cook until the pasta begins to stick to the pan, then add wine, lemon juice, butter, water, salt, and the reserved thyme. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce by half. Beat in the extra butter, add the seared shrimp to the sauce and simmer until cooked through. To finish the sauce, stir in chopped parsley and add some breadcrumbs to thicken it. (The breadcrumbs are listed as optional, but I ended up adding them.)
My Honest Review of Lidia Bastianich’s Shrimp Scampi Recipe
This recipe was absolute perfection. It was clear, sour, flavorful and just what I wanted. The shallots and garlic paste gave the scampi a savory base that took the recipe to the next level. It was garlicky, slightly sweet and complex. And the addition of thyme gave it a subtle spicy flavor which was a welcome addition.
I was worried that two cups of white wine would be too much and overwhelm the scampi, but I was wrong. The white wine cut through the richness of the butter and thickened into a glossy pan sauce that coated the shrimp perfectly. It made a lot sauce (the shrimp practically swam in it), but it’s perfect for tossing through pasta.
The next time I make scampi, I will definitely use this recipe. I never thought of using a ground shallot paste as a base for scampi, but now I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make it any other way.
If you’re making Lidia Bastianich’s Shrimp Scampi Recipe, a few tips
Keep these tips in mind before heading into the kitchen to make this recipe.
Have you ever made Lidia Bastianich’s shrimp scampi recipe? Let us know in the comments!