Polenta and Shrimp With Creamy Tomato Sauce 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nourish Oct 12, 2017

This Italian-style, “shrimp and grits” approaches the popular pairing from a Mediterranean point of view with tomatoes and herbs instead of cheese and cream in the driver’s seat.

To read the accompanying story, see: Shrimp and grits, rendered healthful and Italian? We’re in..

4 - 5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-5 servings

  • 1 cup dried polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces chopped/diced pancetta
  • 1 1/4 pounds large, peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, plus their juices
  • 1 cup water (may substitute fish stock)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Cook the polenta according to the package directions, using 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in the cooking water. Once that's done, stir in the butter until it has melted, and cover to keep the polenta warm as you prepare the shrimp. (The yield is about 4 cups.) Bring about a cup of water to a boil in a kettle to add to the polenta later, as needed.

Scatter the pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook for about 2 minutes, or until browned and crisped. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it has just turned pink on the outside but is not quite cooked through. Transfer the shrimp and pancetta to a plate.

Heat the oil in the same pan (medium heat). Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until translucent, then stir in the garlic, thyme, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 30 seconds.

Sprinkle the cornstarch (as needed) over the onion mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the water and milk. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to form a slightly thickened sauce.

Return the shrimp and pancetta to the pan; cook for about a minute, or until warmed through and the shrimp is cooked through.

If the polenta has thickened/firmed up too much in the interim, stir in the reserved boiling water, a few tablespoons at a time, to make it smooth and soft again. Divide among individual plates and top each portion with the shrimp mixture. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From registered nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Johnna French.

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