Dig Into Lidia Bastianich's Shrimp Alla Buzara

December 13, 2015
Break out a bowl for the shells, and prepare to get your hands dirty. This recipe is worth it.
Catherine Smart
Dig Into Lidia Bastianich's Shrimp Alla Buzara

The queen of Italian cooking knows that simple, fresh ingredients are the building blocks of most delicious meals. In this dish—typical of her native Adriatic Coast—Bastianich shows us how to cook shrimp with their shells on, a trick for infusing garlicky white wine sauce with even more sparkling seafood flavor.

Seat guests elbow-to-elbow, pass what's left of the cooking wine at the table and set out a bowl for everyone to in toss their shells. This is communal dining at its very best.

Want to meet the chef in person? Purchase your tickets for An Evening with Lidia at the Shubert Theater on January 26th. Each ticket comes with a pre-signed copy of Bastianich's new book Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to be a Great Italian Cook, which contains this recipe and many more.

For a chance to win a pair of tickets, support WGBH by making a donation here

2 pounds jumbo shrimp (10 to 12 per pound)
1 cup fish stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  Kosher salt to taste
  Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Using poultry shears or a sharp paring knife, cut through the outer curve of the shrimp shells from end to end, but don’t remove the shells. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and de-vein. Warm the stock in a small saucepan, and stir in the tomato paste till it dissolves.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock-and-tomato-paste mixture, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove garlic when done.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the shrimp and sear (in two batches), 1 minute on each side. Drain off the oil, return all the shrimp to the skillet and add the sauce. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and parsley, mix well, and cook a minute longer, uncovered. Serve immediately.

Recipe provided by Lidia Bastianich.