We love shrimp at my house, and this recipe is one of my go-to’s. I always keep some frozen shrimp on hand in the freezer as well as canned tomatoes in the pantry. Garlic is always around, of course…
This is a classic Greek dish called shrimp saganaki (from the type of pan it is cooked in). It is simple and versatile. If I don’t have shallots on hand, I substitute onion – no fresh oregano? I use dried – no mint? I use basil, dill or parsley- no fresh herbs at all? no big deal. In the end, there’s never any leftover…
Ouzo is traditionally used in the Greek version, but I confess it’s not something I generally keep at my house. It does add a nice layer of complexity though. French Pernod works well also, as it has a similar anise flavor profile. Or if you want, you can throw in a few anise seeds as a substitute.
Serve this dish on its own with a nice crusty bread and a side salad, or with rice, polenta or orzo for example.
Shrimp is a great lean source of protein and calcium and one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet. So enjoy it!
Baked shrimp in tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup Ouzo (optional)
- 1 cup shallot chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic chopped
- 28 oz canned diced or crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dry)
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 2 tbsp fresh mint for garnish (or basil or dill)
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F
- Place shrimp in a bowl, sprinkle with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of Ouzo (if using). Set aside while you cook the sauce.
- Heat olive oil in a large oven proof pan (cast iron or stainless steel) over medium high heat.
- Add shallots and cook until they are soft (a couple minutes)
- Add garlic and cook another minute
- Add tomatoes with their juices, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and 3 tbsp of Ouzo (optional). Stir and reduce the heat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Add oregano and stir again.
- Turn the heat off under the pan while you lay the shrimp on top of the sauce. Drizzle the accumulated juices from the shrimp bowl on top.
- Top the shrimp with the cheese crumbles and place the pan in the oven
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of your shrimp) until the shrimp are opaque. Do not overcook or the shrimp will dry out.
- Remove from oven, top with fresh mint, basil or dill and serve immediately.