This recipe was born out of grilled shrimp leftovers, but by no means do you need to wait for leftovers to make it! This is a take on the classic shrimp scampi recipe—a fantastically garlicky, buttery shrimp dish, sometimes served over a bed of linguini or fettuccini, but not always.
I call this “not quite” scampi because it’s close to, but not quite, a shrimp scampi recipe. Here, equal parts of grilled shrimp, fresh tomatoes, and warm rigatoni are tossed together with ample olive oil, garlic, and basil. It’s an incredibly easy recipe to throw together, especially if you’ve got leftover grilled shrimp on hand. If not, it’s about 5 minutes to cook them up on a hot grill or under the broiler.
The leftover grilled shrimp I used had originally been tossed in a spiced chili rub with olive oil before they were cooked, and they still had a robust flavor when I used them here. But you could grill them up however you like: in a soy-based marinade; in an herb-infused marinade; in just olive oil and lemon; whatever you like.
For the sauce, it’s just a simple to-taste mixture of olive oil, garlic, and basil. I used dehydrated garlic granules because they don’t have the same pungent punch that raw minced garlic packs (which can be offsetting for some), but much more vibrant flavor than plain ol’ garlic salt. Feel free to use any of these garlic options that suits your palate.
Not Quite Shrimp Scampi Recipe
Makes about 6 cups, or 2 to 4 servings
2 cups rigatoni, cooked until al dente
2 cups chopped tomatoes of choice (I used a mix of heirloom cherry tomatoes and sliced large tomatoes for variation)
2 cups grilled shrimp
Ample olive oil, to taste, about ¼ to ½ cup total
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
½ to 1 teaspoon dehydrated garlic granules, to taste
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, peeled pitted, sliced
Combine rigatoni, tomatoes, and shrimp in a large bowl.
Add enough olive oil to coat everything and make it shiny, but not swimming, in oil. Toss well.
Add basil and garlic; toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gently stir in avocado and serve.
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Image by Kimberley Stakal