I have made it pretty obvious on this blog that the Barefoot Contessa is one of my favorite chefs. Her food is always beautiful and appetizing, without a lot of excess fuss. She uses great ingredients and classic methods. You can usually count on her recipes being delicious.
I don’t know what it was that drew me to this recipe in one of her recent cookbooks, but I kept coming back to it. I finally got an ovenproof pan,so maybe that is why I finally decided to try it! Whatever the reason, I am so glad I did. It is absolutely delightful. The tomato sauce is rich and has a great anise flavor from the fennel and Pernod. I am sure you could make the sauce without buying the Pernod, but it adds a lot of flavor. Coincidentally, I am in the market for recipes that use Pernod…..
I made this two times in one week, so that tells you something! The first time I made it was for a main course and I served it alongside angel hair pasta that had been tossed in a little butter, lemon juice, pepper, and parmesan. The second time I served it as an appetizer. The prep is fast and easy, and it is a beautiful presentation. I kind of like serving it directly out of the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven.
The Perfect Pairing for this recipe is crusty bread. You are going to want lots of it to soak up the tomato sauce and feta. You will love this recipe!
Shrimp with Feta and Tomato Sauce
Adapted by Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing from Barefoot Contessa
· 3 Tb olive oil, divided
· 2 bulbs of fennel, core and fronds removed, chopped
· 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
· ½ cup white wine
· 2, 15 oz cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
· 1 Tb tomato paste
· 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
· 2 Tb Pernod
· 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
· ¾ tsp black pepper
· 2 lb shrimp with tails (peeled and deveined)
· 4 oz crumbled feta
· 1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
· Zest of one lemon
· ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped fennel and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic to the pan, stir, and sauté until the garlic softens. Add the white wine to the pan, scraping up any bits. Bring the wine to a boil and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp to the pan by nestling them in the tomato sauce with the tails sticking out of the sauce. Scatter the crumbled feta over the shrimp. In a small bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and chopped parsley. Stir with a fork to combine. Add the remaining 2 Tb of olive oil and stir to combine. Scatter the breadcrumbs over the shrimp and feta. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through and the top of the breadcrumbs are golden brown.