I couldn't wait to get my hands on this dish. When I ate Gamberi Toscana at D'Oro restaurant, it was good but certainly not fabulous. It was described as white beans sautéed with yellow and grape tomatoes in a fresh sage white wine sauce. I loved the combination of the creamy cannellini beans cooked in the white wine sauce with the shrimp but my taste buds were looking for a lot more flavor.
When I think of Tuscan shrimp, rosemary comes to mind. Although the original was cooked with fresh sage, I substituted rosemary in my version. I especially love rosemary with the creamy cannellini beans. The original dish at D'Oro reminded me of a Tuscan style stew I made for Christmas with the same white beans, tomatoes and pancetta. I used dried beans for that ragu but for this dish I used canned to keep it quick and easy.
My problem with the original was lack of flavor. For my dish, I started with salty and delicious pancetta. If you can't find pancetta, regular bacon can be used. The idea is to render it with a bit of olive oil and cook some shallots and garlic in the delicious bacon fat. There is nothing better than bacon fat- in moderation.
Rosemary is added to the mix and cooked with the shallots and garlic. White wine is used to deglaze the pan and yet another layer of flavor is added. I like to cook with the wine I drink. I had a pinot grigio open which was perfectly dry and delicious. Since the liquid is going to cook down and concentrate, you want to make sure it tastes good.
Next came the cannellini beans and some chicken broth. Chicken broth is yet another layer of flavor in the dish. I cooked the beans covered for a few minutes and added grape tomatoes harvested from my backyard. Some salt and a few minutes of cooking later, I had a very delicious bean dish. I could have eaten it on its own, perhaps with a salad or a piece of bread.
While the beans were cooking, I had my outside grill ready for the shrimp, which were happily sitting in a bowl marinating in lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Grilling the shrimp was simple- on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. That was it- the dish was done. The beans were delicious with bits of pancetta and rosemary cooked with shallots and garlic. It was a perfect blend of creamy, salty and a bit of tang from the white wine and lemon juice. The shrimp was perfectly cooked and flavored with the lemon juice and salt. It was a simple concoction with a few very aromatic ingredients that resulted in a delicious dish.
Do try this one and let me know what you think.
1 pound jumbo shrimp (with tails on)
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
Marinate the shrimp in a shallow bowl with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Let it sit for 2 to 3 hours.
Grill the shrimp on an outside grill or an indoor grill pan until done- a couple minutes on each side.
2 (15 oz) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup pancetta, chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
½ cup a dry white wine (pinot grigio)
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
Juice of a lemon
Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté on a medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and rosemary. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine. Cook for a minute and add the cannellini beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Take the lid off and add tomatoes. Mix well and add salt to taste. Cook for another two minutes and serve with shrimp. Drizzle the lemon juice on top.