Take-Out Phobic or Howard Hughes inspired Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti


shrimp scamppull

Weekday dinners of late have been ass-kickers.  It’s 6:30pm and I’ve clocked some serious miles walking, pushing and pulling my troops all over upper and midtown Manhattan.  My oldest is weaseling her way out of homework by way of an Arthur Miller Crucible inspired nervous breakdown, while my napless toddler (think zombie apocalypse) is also about to mentally combust right on the kitchen floor…cut to my husband texting me his perfectly timed “What do you want for dinner?” stock phrase.  At this point, I realize most sane-ish SAH (Stay-At-Homes) reach for the phone and order pizza, Thai, (fill-in the blank).  After all this is NYC, very possibly the birthplace of all takeout.  But I am neither sane-ish nor a big fan of the takeout…which, I understand, is sacrilege in these here parts.  Soggy, styrofoam, plastic and aluminum infused food aside…even more emphatically, I got a weird thing about fingernails.  While I completely realize it is a nutty ode to Howard Hughes phobia, a delivery persons’ hands can make or break a meal for me.  One filthy cuticle bed, an angry chewed nail or an inflamed hanger and I am so eating a stale Wassa topped with the murky year-old pimiento olives from waaaay back in the fridge.  I can’t, I can’t (and I refuse to medicate) I just cannot.  Nor can an entire hungry family live–in perpetuity–on Amy’s frozen mac & cheese (even if it is organic).  After all, any OCD riddled, non-medicating neurotic housewife knows that a microwave is the gateway to marital discord and the ultimate collapse of the nuclear family.  Close the radiating divorce door (kidding, sort of…though that title would make an awesome Pinterest board curated with sad sallow pictures of Hungry Mans and deflated nuked Mama Celeste Pizzas, of course) and just step away.  This Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti takes all of 15 minutes to make (consisting of things you most likely already have on hand in your pantry and fridge: boxed dry pasta, garlic, tomatoes and frozen shrimp) and might be one of the best things you eat all week.


Serves 6-8

  • boxed dry pasta, I like thin spaghetti or linguine
  • 4 large teeth of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 lemon (for juicing)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 20 frozen shrimp
  • 1 cup of reserved boiling water of cooked pasta
  • a splash or two of dry white wine (whatever you have leftover or on hand)
  • parsley or fresh basil, minced for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare boxed pasta and reserve approximately 1 cup of boiled water.  In a large frying pan or wok, heat olive oil on medium/high heat.  Add garlic and tomatoes to saute with a few splashes of dry white wine.  Once garlic has lightly browned and tomatoes are soft, add frozen shrimp to cook while squeezing the two seedless halves of a lemon into pan.  Saute until shrimp are thoroughly cooked and pink.  Add 3/4 of the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water (use more if needed). Salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and top with minced parsley or basil.


About the Author

Mommy despot, marital dictator and dinner demagogue who--in reality--perpetually finds herself a tousled hair away from the inmates storming the Asylum. Territory? New York City, where she precariously navigates urban parenting as the aspirational wonder mom to 2 beautiful girls and mediocre wife to 1 patient husband.

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