The taste of a delicious dish will always bring back great memories, but a recipe that can transform a meal into a family tradition is one to be treasured.
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said her general love for seafood led her to her now-favorite recipe, linguine and shrimp scampi.
The recipe is a seafood pasta dish that is easy to make, combining linguine, shrimp and some of Cavins-Tull’s favorite additional ingredients. Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and a garlic/parsley linguine are among the ingredients Cavins-Tull said she likes to add to the recipe.
“It’s got tons of flavor in it,” she said. “I love sun-dried tomatoes. I love garlic. I love seafood, and this is just a good combination.”
The recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s “Linguine with Shrimp Scampi” recipe from her 2002 cookbook “Barefoot Contessa Family Style.” Cavins-Tull said she originally found the recipe on Garten's show called "Barefoot Contessa" on the Food Network.
The original recipe was easy to expand upon, and Cavins-Tull said she saw it as an opportunity to enhance the flavor even more.
“It began as just liking this one recipe,” she said. “We made it just as she outlined it, but then thought, ‘We could put so many other things in the recipe.’”
When she first tried the linguine and shrimp scampi, Cavins-Tull said she could only describe the taste with one word: delicious. The lemon flavor added to the shrimp made it a fresh taste, she said.
Cavins-Tull said she usually only cooks the dish once every couple of months when gathering together with friends, but the linguine and shrimp scampi does evoke one of her fondest family memories when she make it.
“I come from a big family. I have six brothers and sisters, all with spouses and children. We vacation together in South Carolina on the beach in the summer,” Cavins-Tull said. “We make these big seafood meals because it is so easy to make for a big group of people.”
Since the dish takes about 20 minutes to cook, she said it is a simple way to feed her large family.
Cavins-Tull said she sees linguine and shrimp scampi as not only her favorite recipe but also as a way to celebrate valuable memories and cherished moments with friends.
“It reminds me of vacation in the summer and big family meals,” she said.
Kathy Cavins-Tull’s Linguine and Shrimp Scampi (Inspired by Garten)
· Vegetable oil
· 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
· 3/4 pound garlic and parsley linguine
· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
· 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
· 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
· 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and julienned
· 3 cups spinach
· 1/2 lemon, zest grated
· 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
· 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
· 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Be careful because the garlic burns easily. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, and sauté for one minute. Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper, and sauté until the shrimp have just turned pink (about 5 minutes), stirring often. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine, and put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce. Toss well, and serve.