Shrimp Cooked in Red Wine and San Gregorio da Sassola

It is the time of the year when you never wear the correct clothes.  It's either you're too hot in a jacket or too cold in a shirt.  The weather had been fantastic lately (until the disastrous storm in The Cinque Terre area) and the sun had been shining the strongest on weekends.  It is autumn and some people are already bundled up like Eskimos and some are still prancing around in their tropical island attire. I secretly think that the ones bundled in heavy clothes have already switched their wardrobes from summer to winter while the ones with the light garb have yet to do this arduous work. I already did mine.  It's my least favorite part of the changing seasons.  

In keeping up with the pseudo-summer days, I bought some beautiful gamberoni (shrimps, prawns) at the supermarket.  Just the thought of cooking them in red wine and garlic made me run home immediately.  Not that I can actually have a garlic binge really with my husband keeping a watchful eye on the amount I use.  Zero is perfect.  One is acceptable.  Two are pushing it.  Three, well, our garlic counting ends at two. 

I always cook the shrimp without the shells.  They are less attractive but the marinades and sauces are absorbed much more than having the shells block the liquid.  And I don't discard the heads because that is where the shrimps keep their flavor.   Like all of my recipes, this one is also very simple. And tasty.  If you can add another garlic or two, then do it, it gives this dish more piquancy.  Just make sure my husband is not beside you. 

On the note of THE splendid weather, we hauled the whole family to a picturesque little medieval town a few kilometers from Rome. The ancient town of San Gregorio da Sassola was built around a 10th century castle. Inside the historic town, the houses & alleys seem unchanged by time because the town was kept like how they were hundreds of years ago.  

What actually lured us to drive out here one early Sunday morning was to see the town's Feast of Bruschette & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The thought of tasting different kinds of oil on the bruschette was too much to pass especially with such an inviting weather.   In fact, everyone had the same idea.  The feast was nothing much to speak about having only one stall for selling the oil. Quite disappointing really, but the town was worth seeing anyway.

Shrimp Cooked in Red Wine

Serves 4
  • 1 kilo shrimp, shelled & deveined, saving the heads
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • parsley, chopped finely
  1. Warm up a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil & butter. When the butter melts & starts to sizzle, sautè the garlic.  
  2. When the garlic turns golden, add the shrimp heads.  Maintain a medium flame.  Press the heads a bit with the back of a wooden spoon and toss them frequently in the pan.  When the liquid is reduced, discard the heads and the garlic. 
  3. Put the shrimp in the pan.  Brown them.
  4. Add the red wine.  Let it evaporate on high flame.
  5. Season with salt & pepper.
  6. When cooked, sprinkle chopped parsley.  
  7. If serving with boiled white rice, let the cooked rice roll in the pan with some sauce.