When it comes to Italian cuisine, few dishes are as beloved as shrimp scampi.
This classic dish of sautéed shrimp in a buttery garlic-lemon sauce is one of the most popular seafood recipes around – and for good reason!
It’s absolutely delicious.
But what kind of pasta should you use to make your perfect plate of shrimp scampi?
The answer isn’t always clear.
In this article, I’ll discuss eight types of pasta that work best with this classic dish.
From spaghetti and angel hair to penne and farfalle, you’re sure to find something that will fit your particular taste.
What is Shrimp Scampi?
Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian-American dish that consists of shrimp cooked in butter, garlic, white wine, and lemon juice.
The name “scampi” comes from the Italian word for prawns or langoustines.
It is usually served over pasta such as linguine or spaghetti but can also be served with rice or vegetables.
The key to making a great shrimp scampi is to use fresh ingredients and cook them quickly so they don’t become tough.
- Start by melting butter in a large skillet over medium heat and adding minced garlic and red pepper flakes (optional).
- Cook until fragrant then add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 2 minutes per side until the shrimp are just cooked through.
- Add white wine, lemon juice, parsley, and capers (optional) then simmer for 1-2 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly.
- Serve immediately over your favorite pasta or other accompaniment of choice!
8 Best Pasta for Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi is a classic Italian dish that is delicious and easy to make.
The key ingredient in this dish is the pasta, which needs to be able to hold up to the flavors of the shrimp.
Here are eight types of pastas that can be used for shrimp scampi, each offering a unique taste and texture:
1. Angel Hair Pasta
Angel hair pasta, also known as capellini, is a type of thin Italian pasta.
It is made from durum wheat semolina and has a delicate texture and flavor.
Angel hair pasta is usually served with light sauces such as pesto or tomato sauce, but it can also be used in soups or salads.
Angel hair pasta cooks quickly—in about 4 minutes—so it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook.
The thin strands of angel hair absorb the flavors of whatever sauce you use, making it an ideal choice for shrimp scampi.
Pro Tip: To make sure your angel hair doesn’t stick together while cooking, add a few drops of olive oil to the boiling water before adding the noodles.
This will help keep them separate!
Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, but it has a flat shape and is wider than spaghetti.
It originated in Italy and is made from durum wheat flour.
Linguine can be served with any type of sauce, including tomato-based sauces, cream sauces, pesto or olive oil-based sauces.
Linguine pairs particularly well with shrimp scampi because the wide noodles are able to hold onto the sauce better than thinner pastas like spaghetti or angel hair.
The texture of linguine also helps to create a more satisfying bite when combined with the succulent shrimp.
Pro Tip: To make your shrimp scampi even more flavorful, try adding some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top!
This will add an extra layer of flavor and richness that will take your dish to the next level!
Fettuccine is a type of pasta that originated in Italy.
It is made from egg and flour, and has a flat, ribbon-like shape.
Fettuccine is often used in dishes such as Alfredo or Bolognese sauces, but it can also be served with seafood dishes like shrimp scampi.
Fettuccine noodles are thick and hearty enough to stand up to the rich flavors of shrimp scampi sauce.
The wide ribbons of fettuccine will hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta, making for an even more delicious dish!
Pro Tip: When cooking with fettuccine, make sure to salt your boiling water generously before adding the noodles.
This will help season them evenly throughout so you don’t end up with bland spots on your plate!
Rigatoni is a large, tube-shaped pasta with ridges along the sides.
It’s often used in Italian dishes like baked ziti and lasagna.
Rigatoni has a slightly chewy texture that stands up well to hearty sauces and can be served hot or cold.
Rigatoni is an excellent choice for shrimp scampi because it holds its shape when cooked, so you won’t end up with mushy noodles.
The ridges also help to hold onto the sauce, making each bite more flavorful.
Pro Tip: When cooking rigatoni, make sure to use plenty of water and salt in your pot – about 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta – and stir occasionally while boiling to prevent sticking.
Farfalle, also known as bow-tie pasta, is a type of Italian pasta shaped like small bows or butterflies.
It’s made from durum wheat flour and water and is usually sold in the dried form.
Farfalle is often used in salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes that require a unique shape.
Farfalle pairs particularly well with shrimp scampi because its shape helps to hold onto the sauce better than other types of pasta.
The combination of the two creates an incredibly flavorful dish that will be sure to please any palate!
Pro Tip: When cooking farfalle for shrimp scampi (or any other dish), make sure to cook it al dente—that means it should still have some bite when you take it off the heat!
This will ensure that your farfalle doesn’t get too mushy or overcooked when combined with the sauce.
Penne is a type of pasta that is shaped like a tube with ridges on the outside.
It’s one of the most popular types of pasta and can be used in many different dishes, from salads to casseroles.
Penne is often served with tomato-based sauces, but it also pairs well with cream-based sauces or pesto.
Penne is an excellent choice for shrimp scampi because its shape allows it to hold onto the sauce nicely while still providing plenty of surface area for the shrimp to cling to.
The ridges also help create pockets where extra flavor can accumulate, making every bite even more delicious!
Spaghetti is a type of pasta made from durum wheat and water.
It is usually long, thin strands that are boiled in salted water until al dente.
Spaghetti can be served with a variety of sauces, including tomato-based sauces, pesto, or even just olive oil and garlic.
Spaghetti pairs well with shrimp scampi because the delicate flavor of the shrimp stands out against the mild taste of the spaghetti noodles.
The texture also works nicely together; the firmness of the cooked shrimp contrasts nicely with the softness of the cooked spaghetti noodles.
Pro Tip: When cooking spaghetti for dishes like shrimp scampi, it’s important to make sure you don’t overcook it!
To ensure your spaghetti comes out perfectly al dente every time, add it to boiling salted water and cook for 8-10 minutes (or according to package instructions).
Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like grains of rice.
It’s often used in soups, salads, and casseroles.
Orzo has a mild flavor and can be cooked quickly, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknight meals.
Orzo pairs well with shrimp scampi because the small size of the pasta allows it to absorb all the flavors from the sauce.
The orzo also adds texture to the dish, making it more interesting than just plain shrimp scampi.
Pro Tip: When cooking with orzo, make sure to add enough liquid so that the pasta doesn’t stick together while cooking.
Adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your boiling water will help keep the orzo separate as it cooks!
In conclusion, shrimp scampi is a delicious and versatile dish that can be made with a variety of different types of pasta.
The best types of pasta for shrimp scampi are angel hair pasta, linguine, fettuccine, rigatoni, farfalle, penne, spaghetti, and orzo. Each of these pastas has a unique texture and flavor that will complement the shrimp and other ingredients in the dish.
By experimenting with different types of pasta, you can find the perfect combination for your shrimp scampi and create a delicious and satisfying meal.
The 8 Best Pasta for Shrimp Scampi
- Angel Hair Pasta
- Pick your favorite pasta from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected pasta with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.