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Easy Southern-Style Shrimp and Polenta Recipe

Fast & Easy Dinner: Shrimp and Pancetta on Polenta

While seafood gumbo is a classic dish native to New Orleans, to celebrate Fat Tuesday tonight, why not make another favorite with origins in the South? The traditional shrimp and grits gets a quick and modern makeover in this wonderful recipe. Instant polenta replaces the grits, and the addition of pancetta adds a porky goodness to the flavorful sauce. To kick start your Mardi Gras festivities, make this meal now.

Shrimp and Pancetta on Polenta

From Gourmet

Easy Southern-Style Shrimp and Polenta Recipe 2010-02-15 12:36:47


  1. 1/2 cup instant polenta
    1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 (14-ounces) can diced tomatoes in juice
    1 pound cleaned large shrimp
    1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Cook polenta according to package instructions in a heavy medium saucepan until thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt, then cover.
  2. Cook pancetta, garlic, and red pepper flakes in 2 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with their juice and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  5. Spoon polenta into shallow bowls and top with shrimp mixture. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, season with pepper, and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4.

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