Italian Spicy Shrimp with Olives
How are you my very nice readers? Can I tell you something?
You really are a nice crew of people. I get the sweetest emails from you, and I’m floored that you take the time to let me know you enjoyed a recipe. It means a lot to me in our world where everything moves so fast.
I notice many millennials are embracing food the way I do, the way I was taught. I almost see some as finding their way back from a childhood of fast food and boxed mac and cheese.
If you were a child of my grandmother’s generation, you were thinner, ate at home more often and ate as a family.
If you were at the home of my paternal grandmother, you would be eating this southern fried chicken, and this macaroni and cheese. You would still be skinny. Carbs were different then and I don’t know why, maybe because the food was made from scratch and milk came via the milkman.
If you were at my maternal grandmother’s house, you would be eating dishes like quick minestrone soup and this spicy shrimp with olives over spaghetti. My mother and my aunt grew up thin, eating spaghetti and Italian bread all the time.
She was a hair stylist and beauty shop owner. She cooked fast. She cooked smart. She always cooked healthy. She was very influential in my life. At the time, I wanted to eat junk food, but I never forgot her lectures and the way she quickly moved in the kitchen. She would grab the garlic, onions, olives and in mere minutes have food on the table.
Spicy Shrimp with Olives is Fast and Smart
You have a lot of options here. You can use fresh tomatoes, as I did. I made this in the summer, and tomatoes were more than plentiful right from the farm. I had more than I knew what to do with.
Like my grandmother, I grabbed some olive oil, garlic, shallots, cooked those little tomatoes right on the stove until they broke down into a sweet sauce. If you don’t have fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, use canned tomatoes. I added red pepper flakes, because I like spice with shrimp.
I used a topping of pistou, which is optional. Pistou is a Provencal condiment, made with basil and olive oil, often layered on top of a summer vegetable soup. It’s really nice on shrimp dishes.
You can serve this with pasta. I used zucchini to make zoodles because we had plenty of zucchini.
This is not a fancy dish, or a complicated dish. It’s just an easy, flavorful dish that we make over and over again.
I have a wonderful spicy shrimp quiche with pistou that this dish is reminiscent of.
- 1.5 cups grape tomatoes (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 2 medium shallots, finely diced (or ½ sweet onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or chopped hot red chili pepper)
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound wild shrimp, shelled, cleaned, deveined
- 2 large zucchini
- 6 olives, (see notes)
- Put an x in each end of the grape tomatoes. Toss with a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Put in shallow baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes 350 degrees. You may need to roast for an extra five minutes, depending on size.
- Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add pepper flakes and parsley.
- Rinse shrimp several times in cold water. Pat dry.
- Add shrimp to the frying pan. Cook just until shrimp are pink. (about 3 minutes). Remove shrimp. Set aside.
- In meantime, spiral zucchini and add to the pan. You will need to add more olive oil at this time.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is softened.
- Toss in roasted tomatoes and shrimp.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Add more heat in the form of red pepper flakes if desired.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in Pistou, if desired. If you don't have time to make pistou, add basil leaves or extra parsley.
Regarding tomatoes, if you don't have access to good tomatoes, you can use canned tomatoes.