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Spicy Maine Shrimp Scampi

This is an easy recipe that truly showcases the heat of the pepper flake, brightness of the lemon and creaminess of the shrimp as part of one balanced plate. If you don't like too much heat, you can omit the red pepper and increase the garlic; consider starting out with half of the suggested red pepper if you're nervous. You may find it leaves you wanting more when you take your first bite.

1 pound of linguine or fettuccine

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon garlic salt

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes, more if you really like it hot

1 pound peeled Maine shrimp

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2/3 cup vermouth (or dry white wine)

1 1/2 lemons

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (or chives, if preferred)

Salt and boil water in a large pot and cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water after draining.

While the water is coming to a boil, saute the garlic and red pepper flake in the 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil, with a dash of salt and pepper on low for 2 to 3 minutes in a large pan. Add vermouth (or wine) and the juice of 1 lemon and bring to a simmer.

Add remaining tablespoon of butter, oil and raw shrimp. Saute for 3 minutes until shrimp firm up and change color. Add pasta water, 1/4 cup fresh parsley and pasta to the pan and toss with tongs.

Squeeze remaining lemons and add more black pepper, salt and red pepper flake (if you're into heat), to taste. Toss again. Serve with remaining parsley.

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