It’s probably obvious by now — we LOVE risotto. It’s comforting, incredibly versatile, and surprisingly easy to make! This Lemony Risotto is all of those things, plus bright, fresh, garlicky, herby, and perfect for spring!
It’s vegan and gluten-f…
It’s probably obvious by now — we LOVE risotto. It’s comforting, incredibly versatile, and surprisingly easyto make! This Lemony Risotto is all of those things, plus bright, fresh, garlicky, herby, and perfect for spring!
It’s vegan and gluten-free but does not skimp on creaminess! We love it for a weeknight meal when we’re feeling fancy but needing something easy.
I can pinpoint the only moment I’ve ever felt cool in the presence of a bartender: It was early summer 2018 at a casual yet self-serious bar in my native Chicago, and I ordered a dry Lambrusco. “I love Lambrusco,” he said, affirming my early-adopter st…
I can pinpoint the only moment I’ve ever felt cool in the presence of a bartender: It was early summer 2018 at a casual yet self-serious bar in my native Chicago, and I ordered a dry Lambrusco. “I love Lambrusco,” he said, affirming my early-adopter status for the first and last time. “I want to get everyone drinking it.”
A far cry from the cloying, bulk-produced juice that dominated the category in the 1970s and ’80s, the new guard of Lambrusco from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region represents everything I like in a wine: A chilled, low-ABV red with a gentle, prickly fizz, it’s equal parts no-brainer and deserving of deep contemplation. It’s low intervention and artisanally made, and almost always under $20 a bottle. It’s delicious with pizza, cured snacks, and richly sauced pastas—or all by itself at 5 in the afternoon. It’s also still irritatingly hard to find.
We’ve broken down types of wine into an easy-to-read chart. This types of wine chart will help you understand the major varieties of wines at a glance. It’s a quick insight into a wide array of wines so you know what you’re drinking a…
We’ve broken down types of wine into an easy-to-read chart. This types of wine chart will help you understand the major varieties of wines at a glance. It’s a quick insight into a wide array of wines so you know what you’re drinking and what goes with it. We’ve broken down types of wine into an […]
This shrimp scampi recipe is pure bliss and made in minutes! Sauté shrimp and toss with a luxurious lemony garlic butter sauce.
Shrimp, butter, garlic, lemon, and white wine: what could be better? Yes, it’s the Italian American shrimp scampi, a classic that’s been stealing hearts and minds for decades. There’s no right way to make a scampi: it’s a thing of elusive beauty that’s up to the chef to define. But we think this version is pretty stellar: juicy, garlicky shrimp swimming in a rich, tangy butter sauce. Sop it up with crusty bread, or pour it over pasta: either way, it’s divine.
What is shrimp scampi, anyway?
The dish shrimp scampi is an Italian American creation, a riff on a classic Italian preparation of scampi by cooking them with olive oil, onion, garlic and white wine. Scampi are also called langoustines: they’re a small, pink crustacean that looks like a large shrimp, but is actually part of the lobster family. Americans swapped in shrimp for the lobster but kept both names in the dish, creating a non-sensical name that’s more like “shrimp lobster” or “shrimp shrimp.”
As with any popular dish, there are many interpretations of what ingredients a classic shrimp scampi includes. Most dishes have shrimp, garlic, butter, lemon and white wine; others add in onions, tomatoes, or breadcrumbs. The serving also varies: it’s popularly served with pasta, but it’s not required. Shrimp scampi simply refers to the shrimp and garlic butter sauce, not the pasta.
Ingredients in this shrimp scampi recipe
The great part about shrimp scampi: it comes together in minutes! You can make the entire recipe in about 15 minutes. We like using fresh shrimp here to make it fast and easy, but you can use frozen too: just make sure to thaw the shrimp in advance. Here are the ingredients for this classic spin on shrimp scampi (or jump to the recipe below):
Medium shrimp: fresh or frozen, tail on or peeled
White wine or vegetable or chicken broth, as a non-alcoholic option
Salt and pepper
How to make shrimp scampi: basic steps
Here’s a brief outline on how to make this shrimp scampi recipe! A few important tips are listed below, then once you’ve read them head to the recipe below:
Sauté onion and garlic, then the shrimp in olive oil. You’ll want to use your largest skillet for this and keep the shrimp in a single layer so they’re all touching the pan.
Just cook the shrimp, then remove them. You’ll want them just nearly cooked, because you’re going to take them out of the pan and then add them back in after you make the sauce.
Make the butter sauce. In the same skillet, sauté the butter, white wine, lemon zest and parsley to make a sauce.
Return the shrimp to the pan and toss with the butter sauce. Serve with pasta or crusty bread (see below!).
A note on serving size
This shrimp scampi recipe uses 1 pound of shrimp for 4 servings. But if you’re feeding 4 very hungry eaters, you may want to increase the amount of shrimp to 1.5 pounds. You can use all the same amounts of ingredients for the sauce: just increase the salt to ¾ teaspoon kosher salt.
You can also use 16 ounces pasta instead of 8 ounces, and add other side dishes to the meal like a green salad or sautéed vegetables.
Serving with angel hair pasta
Shrimp scampi is often served with angel hair pasta. After making this recipe multiple times, we found some best practices on working with this unique type of pasta:
Serve the pasta on the side! Trying to mix the shrimp and pasta in a pan is difficult because the pasta can clump up. Even more importantly, angel hair pasta absorbs a large amount of liquid.So it will absorb the entire butter sauce if you let it! A better practice is serving it on the side of the shrimp, and spooning the butter sauce over the shrimp and the pasta.
8 ounces is enough for 4 servings. Often we’ll make 12 to 16 ounces pasta for four, but angel hair expands when cooked. It feels like you’re getting more than with 8 ounces of spaghetti or linguine.
Rinsing the pasta helps. Rinse the pasta in lukewarm water also helps keep it from absorbing too much liquid. Then toss it with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt to season before serving as a side. Or use our Easy Angel Hair Pasta recipe for seasoning ideas.
More serving suggestions
Shrimp scampi is ideal for a dinner party or special romantic meal, but it also works for quick weeknight meals, too! It does not always have to be served with pasta, though it can! Here are our serving suggestions for this dish:
Serve with 8 ounces pasta. See the notes on angel hair pasta above! You can also use any shape of pasta and season however you’d like. We like keeping it fairly basic with olive oil and salt, then spooning a little extra butter sauce over the top.
Add crusty bread. Instead of pasta, crusty bread is even easier! Toast it up and add a little butter, then use it for dipping.
Or, serve with rice. A non-traditional pairing is serving with rice as a gluten-free option. It would be especially tasty with Spinach Rice.
In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the minced onion and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp in a single layer (without stacking it) and cook for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through, until just cooked. (The shrimp will continue cooking after removing from the heat.) Remove the shrimp to a bowl while making the sauce.
In the same skillet add the butter, wine, lemon zest and parsley. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the shrimp back to the skillet and rewarm it for a few seconds. Serve immediately, with pasta on the side**, rice or crusty bread (drizzle spoonfuls of the sauce over the shrimp and the pasta on the side).
*To serve very hungry eaters, you can increase to 1 ½ pounds shrimp and ¾ teaspoon salt, using the same amount of other ingredients. You may have to sauté the shrimp in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
**Cook 8 ounces angel hair pasta for 4 minutes, then rinse in lukewarm water. Mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt. Optionally, you can add ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ tablespoon each dried oregano and dried basil. We recommend serving the angel hair pasta on the side of the shrimp. Don’t mix it together with the shrimp in the pan: it is difficult to mix and it absorbs all of the butter sauce. (See Easy Angel Hair Pasta for more.)
I can’t remember the first time I tried Chardonnay, which I’m sure is due, in part, to the fact that it was so bad I blocked the tasting experience from my memory. Chardonnay is one of the white wine varietals that’s pretty ubiquitous. It’s guaranteed …
I can’t remember the first time I tried Chardonnay, which I’m sure is due, in part, to the fact that it was so bad I blocked the tasting experience from my memory. Chardonnay is one of the white wine varietals that’s pretty ubiquitous. It’s guaranteed to be one of two, maybe three reliable white wines available at a wedding. It’s a variety that, in a sea of intimidating wine lingo on an extensive drinks menu, is familiar and approachable. At a liquor store three blocks from your college campus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find Sancerre or Txakoli (not a problem for the 19-year-old with a fake I.D. that hasn't heard of Txakoli), but you’ll have your pick of Chardonnays under $15.
All of this is to say that Chardonnay and I have taken more than a few walks around the block and we never got along. It was easy for me to write off Chardonnay entirely. That is, until I was introduced to unoaked Chardonnay.
Here’s how to make a classic risotto recipe: creamy and savory, flavored with Parmesan and a splash of white wine.
Here’s a cooking technique every home cook should know: how to make a great risotto recipe! Risotto is an Italian rice dish that works as a side dish as a main, starring short-grain rice cooked in broth until its creamy and velvety. Flavored with garlic, Parmesan cheese and a splash of white wine, it tastes luxuriously glamorous: but the concept is incredibly simple. Here’s what you need to know about how to make this Italian classic.
What is risotto?
Risotto is an Italian rice dish where short grain Arborio rice is cooked in broth until its creamy. Most methods use butter, onion, and garlic, white wine to deglaze the pan, and Parmesan cheese to finish. Risotto is generally served as a first course in Italy, where meals are structured as antipasti, first plate, and second plate. There are many variations on a risotto recipe: mushroom, shrimp, truffle, and more.
Ingredients in a classic risotto recipe
This risotto recipe is classic and straightforward, with no additional vegetables or proteins. You can serve it as a side dish and add a protein on top, or a main dish with cooked protein and vegetables integrated into the rice. The most important part of risotto? Finding the correct type of rice. Here are some notes on ingredients:
Arborio rice: Short grain arborio rice is a must! This type of rice absorbs the liquid as it cooks, naturally creating a creamy and thickened texture. This does not work with long grain rice. Arborio rice is easy to find at your local grocery, so make sure to find the real thing!
Vegetable or chicken broth: Use either one. In this recipe we also add water to the broth to even out the flavor.
White wine: The wine adds a savory, oaky undertone that’s essential to the dish. Most of the alcohol is cooked out in the cooking process. If you prefer, you can skip the wine!
Onion and garlic: These aromatics bring big flavor to the dish.
Butter and olive oil: The combination of fats adds extra nuance.
Parmesan cheese: This aged Italian cheese is key to the flavor in this dish. You can substitute Pecorino Romano cheese, but keep in mind: it’s much saltier. Use about half to start, then add more to taste.
3 tips for making risotto
Making a risotto is an simple process: but there are a few things to remember to make the perfect dish. Here are our top tips for making a great risotto recipe:
Heat the broth. The Arborio rice immediately absorbs the broth if it’s hot, but if it’s cold it changes the temperature of the dish and affects the cooking process. You’ll want a few ladles of warm broth at a time.
Stir in broth gradually: be patient! Add a few ladles, then keep stirring to incorporate the broth. As soon as it’s absorbed, add more. Continue in this way for about 12 minutes. It requires some babysitting, but grab a glass of wine and enjoy the process!
Adjust the heat as necessary to keep a steady simmer. If the heat is too high, it can burn or not cook through. If the heat too low, the rice grains can get waterlogged.
It’s ready when it’s tender but slightly al dente. The grains of rice should be slightly al dente (to have a bite of chew in the center) and stay separate from each other as they float in the thickened broth.
Types of risotto recipes
There are many variations on a risotto. Use this one as a template and add ingredients like sautéed or roasted vegetables, cooked shrimp, and so forth. This classic risotto recipe is basic as is, so you’ll want to serve it as a side dish with a protein (like roast chicken or a vegetarian main), or add some protein or other ingredients to round it out. Here are a few other risotto recipes and some ideas for additions:
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay*
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Zest from ½ lemon
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (optional but recommended)
Freshly ground black pepper
Prep the vegetables: Prepare the onion and garlic and noted above.
Heat the broth: Combine the broth with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low.
Sauté the vegetables: In a large same skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the minced onion and cook for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and dry rice and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes until the rice starts to turn light brown.
Add the wine: Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add the broth: Add two ladles of the hot broth to the risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is fully absorbed, then add two more ladles of both. Cook in this same manner for about 12 minutes, adding two ladles and stirring frequently. Continue to adjust the heat to make sure the risotto is at a steady simmer. After 12 minutes, taste a grain of rice. If it’s creamy but still al dente in the center, you’re ready for the final step! If not, continue to cook and add broth for a few minutes more. (You’ll have some broth left over: save it for reheating leftovers.)
Finish the risotto: When the rice is al dente, reduce the heat to low. Add two more ladles of broth, the Parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until you’ve got a thick and creamy risotto. Add the lemon zest, fresh thyme, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt as desired (we add another heaping ¼ teaspoon kosher salt). Serve with additional Parmesan cheese to top.
Storage info: Flavor is best day of. You can store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, but the texture will become less creamy when chilled. Reheat on the stovetop and add a little extra broth and Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches salt to taste.
*If you prefer avoiding wine, you can skip Step 4 and move straight to adding the broth.
By now everyone knows: Our love for pumpkin runs deep. But unlike our other new pumpkin recipes (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice cake bites), we were craving something savory this time around. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the result!A…
By now everyone knows: Our love for pumpkin runs deep. But unlike our other new pumpkin recipes (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice cake bites), we were craving something savory this time around. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the result! All the classic, creamy, salty, comforting components of risotto come together with nature’s favorite fall child (pumpkin).
Top it with crispy sage and you’ve got a savory-sweet side or entrée that’s simple to make but so delicious and impressive!
We’ve teamed up with Erath Winery—known for their critically acclaimed Oregon wines—to share food-and-wine pairing ideas perfect for the fall season. Thanksgiving’s almost here, so we’ve cooked up two holiday-ready menus, including our favorite wines f…
We've teamed up with Erath Winery—known for their critically acclaimed Oregon wines—to share food-and-wine pairing ideas perfect for the fall season. Thanksgiving's almost here, so we've cooked up two holiday-ready menus, including our favorite wines from Erath Winery to sip alongside 'em.
While I'm always happy to sip whatever wine is being poured at the dinner table—especially if I'm a guest at someone else's house—when it comes down to it, I've definitely got my favorites. During the summer, it's rosé all the way, especially something dry with notes of tart fruit and a fresh acidity. But once the cooler weather rolls in, I say goodbye to rosé for the season and dive in to my favorite red wines.
As we move into fall, it’s hard to say goodbye to the crisp, light-bodied whites in condensation-frosted glasses, or the sharp and grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, or the Sancerres with their notes of citrus and minerality, a perfect match for seaf…
As we move into fall, it’s hard to say goodbye to the crisp, light-bodied whites in condensation-frosted glasses, or the sharp and grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, or the Sancerres with their notes of citrus and minerality, a perfect match for seafood. For such moments, there’s Bordeaux Blanc, or White Bordeaux, a wine-insider’s secret that bridges the seasons, because it’s most often a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (crispness, summer) and a grape called Sémillon, which has more richness and mouthfeel (coziness, fall).
Bordeaux, to most anyone, including wine people, is red, a high-end blend that can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, and it tends to come at collector’s prices. Bordeaux Blanc, made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle, is lesser-known because it makes up only 7 to 8 percent of the region’s output. However, savvy buyers, including many restaurant professionals, choose Bourdeaux Blanc because it’s usually available at a lower price than the reds from Bordeaux, allowing for a taste of a storied region at a good value. It’s also on the forward edge of a trend: Blends are the second-biggest category in red wine sales at the moment—a juggernaut that some would say has been inspired by the skill of the Bordelais in blending their reds—and industry professionals expect white blends to be next. White blends from the master blenders in Bordeaux, then, are ahead of the curve, and are newly sought-after.
These days, we’re certainly spending a bit more time in the house or hanging out with friends at their homes. As we know all too well, 2020 gave us a taste of a slower life, as we spent more time inside than we ever could’ve imagined was possible. Bore…
These days, we’re certainly spending a bit more time in the house or hanging out with friends at their homes. As we know all too well, 2020 gave us a taste of a slower life, as we spent more time inside than we ever could’ve imagined was possible. Boredom set in. We all felt a little like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Fortunately, our resilience came out to play—and when 2020 gave us lemons, we made lemonade. We purchased all the home essentials, decked out our outdoor spaces, and perfected recipes that we’re still proud to share with friends. In short, we all mastered the art of entertaining. And kudos to us for keeping the party going!