- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta (6 ounces)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 pounds shelled rock shrimp
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil with the sugar. Whisk in the polenta in a thin stream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt. Press a piece of parchment or wax paper directly onto the surface of the polenta and keep warm.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and 1/4 cup of water and simmer over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and simmer, stirring, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Rewarm the polenta over moderately high heat, whisking constantly. Spoon a pool of polenta in the center of 8 shallow bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over and around the polenta and serve right away.
Try a very lush white wine from Friuli. "It's from the region of polenta, so it makes sense; it's a perfect polenta wine," says Joe Bastianich.