Shrimp in Tomato-Olive-Caper Sauce with Polenta

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

Polenta makes a hearty gluten-free base for this rustic Italian meal. Get the polenta started first, and then simmer the shrimp while it cooks. If you can find San Marzano canned tomatoes, they will add a bold flavor and supple texture to the dish.


For the polenta:

  • 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) water
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

For the shrimp:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 can (14 oz./440 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 10 to 12 oz. (315 to 390 g) jumbo shrimp, (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz./40 g) Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 Tbs. capers, drained
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme


In a heavy saucepan, bring the water, oil, salt and pepper to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, about 18 minutes

While the polenta is cooking, prepare the shrimp: In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the shrimp lightly with salt and black pepper. Add to the fry pan, turn to coat with the sauce, cover and simmer until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Mix in the olives, capers and thyme and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

When the polenta is done, stir in the thyme. Divide the polenta between 2 warmed plates, spreading it out in a circle. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the top and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2013)

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