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Pan-Roasted Shrimp with Caponata

This dish combines several outstanding southern Italian flavors into one harmonious preparation. You could make a double or triple batch of the caponata to have on hand to top bruschetta. This recipe is from Italian Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. This recipe makes 6—8 servings.
CIA's Pan Roasted Shrimp with Caponata recipe

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 quarts canned plum tomatoes, whole, drained
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Caponata

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, coarsely chopped
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 small stalks celery heart, tender part only, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted capers, soaked and drained
  • 6 or 7 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Shrimp

  • 40 medium shrimp (20/25 count), peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

To Make the Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are tender but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Use your hands to crush and break up the tomatoes. Add them to the onions, along with the bay leaf. Simmer the sauce over low heat until thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes.
  3. Puree the tomatoes through a food mill into a clean pot; you can also use a food processor. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

To Make the Caponata

  1. Season the eggplant with salt and let it rest for at least 1 hour to leach part of the water out of the eggplant. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a large sauté pan, sweat the onions and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until tender with no color, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce (store remaining tomato sauce in the refrigerator or freezer for another use). Cook for 5 minutes longer.
  3. In a separate pan, fry the eggplant in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft and it has a nice dark color. Add the eggplant to the vegetables, toss to coat, and remove from the heat. Add the pine nuts, raisins, olives, capers, and basil.
  4. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil. Pour over the caponata in the sauté pan. (The caponata is ready to serve now, or you can store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

To Make the Shrimp

  1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil. Quickly sauté in a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat, turning as necessary, until cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  2. Spoon the caponata into the center of the serving plate. Arrange the shrimp around the caponata and dress with the parsley and extra-virgin olive oil.

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