Garlic Shrimp with Polenta
- TOTAL TIME:
- SERVINGS: 8 first-course servings
A Venetian classic known as schie con polenta, this dish features briny shrimp laced with garlic and spooned with their pan juices over creamy white polenta. It's traditionally made with tiny gray shrimp from the Venetian lagoon; any size shrimp work so long as they are very fresh.
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 1 3/4 cups white polenta (10 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 2 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- In a large saucepan, combine the water with a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is thick and the grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the butter, season the polenta with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and cook over high heat until they are lightly browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, turn the shrimp over and cook until cooked through, about 1 minute longer.
- Transfer the polenta to shallow bowls. Top with the shrimp and some of the garlic oil from the skillet. Serve right away.
Count Paolo Marzotto served this simple, flavorful dish with his crisp blend of the local Sicilian Insolia and French Viognier grapes. Another good white to pair with it, also from Sicily, would be the round, lemony Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia.