Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich visited Fox 26 and showed food radio talk show host, Cleverley Stone, how to make a healthy, low fat sauce made with vegetables and shrimp. Lidia noted that the sauce could also be vegetarian by eliminating the shrimp, or modify this versatile sauce by using chicken or sausage. This recipe is from Lidia’s new book, “Lidia’s Italy in America,” where she writes about a fascinating road trip she took into the heart of Italian-American cooking. Bastianich is one of the most-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author and restaurateur.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, catch Cleverley’s radio show, Saturdays at Noon on Talk 650 AM. (PS: She gives out restaurant gift cards on every radio show!)
Italian American Shrimp
From Chef Lidia Bastianich, Lidia’s Italy
Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich visited Fox 26 and showed food radio talk show host, Cleverley Stone, how to make a healthy, low fat sauce made with vegetables and shrimp. Lidia noted that the sauce could also be vegetarian by eliminating the shrimp, or modify this versatile sauce by using chicken or sausage.
Here is Lidia’s description of her dish: “Vegetables are often used together with fish in traditional Italian cooking. This recipe is over the top and seems to have every available vegetable cooked with shrimp. To me it resembles jambalaya without the chicken and sausages. It is great served over steamed rice as is jambalaya. It would seem that the Italian immigrant love of garlic permeated many Creole dishes that were indigenous to New Orleans, which was the first major port of immigration for Italian immigrants, in particular Sicilians traveling on boats and sending back messages in wooden crates to their family and friends, encouraging them to come to America. The piquant spices used in Creole cooking were not new to the Italian immigrants, although some of the chilies used were definitely new world. The Italian immigrants incorporated the local fish into their cooking creating dishes such as Fettuccine with Crawfish.”
NOTE: Lidia suggests serving over rice, polenta or pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 stalk celery, cut in 2-by-1/2-inch strips
1 large carrot, cut in 2-by-1/2-inch strips
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzanos, crushed by hand
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon peperoncino
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
8 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut in 2-by-1/2-inch strips
1 red bell pepper, cut in 2-by-1/2-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, shredded
1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add garlic. Let the garlic sizzle a minute, then add the celery and carrot. Cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes. Slosh out the can with 1 cup hot water and add that as well. Season sauce with the oregano and peperoncino. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the scallions, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
4. Stir in the shrimp. Simmer until shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the basil and serve.