Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shrimp Buzara...Gamberini Alla Buzara

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Shrimp alla buzara
Gamberini alla Buzara is a very popular dish from the Dalmatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea and a perfect example of the rich seafood offerings influenced by neighboring Italy.  This recipe comes from Lidia Bastianich, the well known Italian cookbook author and restaurant owner, a native of the region.  Second to Marcella Hazan, she is my bible when it comes to Italian cooking.
Shrimp alla buzara

Shrimp alla Buzara can be prepared with head-on shrimp, tail-on shrimp, or peeled shrimp. In this particular recipe, just the heads are discarded,  As you can imagine, leaving the shells on when stewing makes for a delicious sauce, perfect for crusty bread . 

Bring a big empty bowl to the table to discard the shells.  Serve a pasta or risotto as a first course,  or by itself with a baguette, and choose an Italian white wine from the Veneto such as a Soave.   The recipe is simple and easy to prepare, perfect for a midweek dinner.


24 large shrimp, raw (1 ounce apiece) with shells
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon bread crumbs, or more if needed
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped


Without removing any of the shell, remove the vein (digestive tract) that runs inside the curving back of each shrimp: Slice open the back with a sturdy sharp paring knife, cutting through the shell, and scrape out the vein. Rinse the shrimp and pat dry.

Pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil in the sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. Scatter in the garlic, cook until sizzling, then stir in the shallots. When they're sizzling, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 cup of the wine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is nearly completely evaporated and the shallots have softened.

Drop in the tomato paste and stir it around the pan for a minute, coating the shallots and caramelizing.

Pour in the rest of the wine, bring to the boil quickly, then add the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the sauce bubble gently and reduce for about 5 minutes while you sear the shrimp.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the wide skillet and set over high heat until very hot. Scatter the shrimp in the pan, toss them in the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for just a minute or slightly longer, until the shells are lightly colored and the flesh underneath is opaque, then turn off the heat.

With the sauce still bubbling, slide in the seared shrimp and tumble to coat them all with sauce.

Stir in the coarsely ground pepper, then the tablespoon bread crumbs-use more crumbs if the sauce is thin. Cook for another 2 minutes then turn off the heat.

Drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil-or more to taste-and incorporate it well, tumbling the shrimp in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley on top and serve immediately. -

Recipe from Lidia Bastianich
Photo: Lindaraxa


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