Fettuccine and Shrimp with Crustacean Cream Sauce

Fettuccine alla Crema di Scampi

Preparation info

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By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Scampi are crayfish-like saltwater crustaceans, not the shrimp that are usually served as a substitute in the United States. The correct English name for scampi is “lobsterettes,” but most of the time the French name, langoustines, is used instead. Although some langoustines are imported into the United States (mostly from New Zealand), they are difficult to find. Shrimp, crayfish, and lobster can all be substituted. This sauce is made with crustacean butter made from shells; the shells needn’t be from the same crustacean.


shelled raw shrimp, cooked crayfish tails, or cooked lobster meat lb 675 g
heavy cream cups 375 ml
ripe tomatoes, seeded, finely chopped or drained and chopped canned tomatoes 2 medium or 1 cup 2 medium or 250 ml
chopped fresh thyme or chopped fresh marjoram ½ tsp or 1 tsp 3 ml or 5 ml
crustacean butter 4 oz 125 g
salt and pepper to taste to taste
fresh fettuccine (tagliatelle) or linguine or dried fettuccine or linguine lb or 1 lb 675 g or 450 g


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil for cooking the pasta. If the shrimp are very large, cut them into ½-inch (1 cm) sections. If using crayfish tails, leave them whole. Slice lobster tails into ¼-inch-thick (5 mm) medallions. Leave lobster claws whole.
  2. Combine the cream, tomatoes, and thyme or marjoram in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture thickens to a sauce-like consistency, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the crustacean butter and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  3. Just before serving, boil and drain the pasta. Very gently heat the shellfish in the sauce, never letting it boil for even a second—which would cause the shellfish to curl up, harden, and dry out. Toss the pasta with the sauce and shellfish and serve.