A flavorful twists on classic shrimp and grits. Italian Shrimp and Grits is bold and zesty, with italian cheeses, sweet red peppers, capers, and Italian spirit.
When we first moved to North Carolina ten years ago I had never eaten grits… and neither had Lt. Dan.
Grits seemed to be on the menu at every restaurant we visited. I remember leaning over to Dan on one particular occasion and whispering, “So, what the heck is a grit anyway?”
“I don’t know.” he whispered back, “I think it’s kind of like Cream of Wheat.” (He’s a northerner.)
So we ordered cheese grits and waited with great anticipation. When our breakfast arrived and we tasted the grits, the first thing out of my mouth was…
“OH! It’s polenta!”
Some people might argue that grits and polenta are not the same. After all, they come from different varieties of corn. Plus grits are generally white and polenta is usually yellow.
However these small differences aside, they are both made of dried ground corn and are simmered with liquid into a thick porridge. Let’s not get too fussy over the little details.
Today I’m sharing our latest shrimp and grits variation, Italian Shrimp and Grits made with creamy asiago and fontina polenta, garlic shrimp, and Italian flavors throughout.
I bought the biggest freshest shrimp I could find, then sauteed them with crispy pancetta and garlic. Once the shrimp cooked to juicy pink perfection I tossed in sweet sun-dried red peppers, capers, and italian parsley.
The combination of the rich decadent cheesy “grits” and bright zesty shrimp is to-die-for. A little drizzle of grassy olive oil over the top, and I feel like I’m right back in Italy… sort of.
I make Italian Shrimp and Grits with my favorite non-stick cookware Swiss Diamond Cookware, because the cheesy grits slide right out of the pan without sticking to the sides, and I don’t need to add butter or oil to the skillet to brown the pancetta.
You’d be amazed at how easy the clean up is, when using good (meaning safe, eco-friendy, and truly non-stick) non-stick cookware. I will never make grits, or polenta for that matter, in a steel saucepan again.
Another beautiful thing about Italian Shrimp and Grits is that they are so fast to make! You can easily whip this recipe up in 30 minutes or less any night of the week. So if you are craving shrimp and grits, or you’re craving Italian cuisine, or both…
Italian Shrimp and Grits is for you!
Italian Shrimp and Grits
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
A flavorful twists on shrimp and grits, Italian Shrimp and Grits is bold and zesty, with italian cheeses, sweet red peppers, capers, and garlic shrimp!
For the Grits:
- 1 cup polenta
- 4 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups shredded italian cheeses (I used half asiago and half fontina)
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned
- 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into cubes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sliced sweet sun dried red peppers
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup water, and crushed red pepper to a boil. Add the polenta and whisk well to avoid clumping. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook until the water is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses and cream. Taste for salt. Cover until ready to serve.
- Fry the pancetta over medium heat in a large skillet. When crisp, add the garlic and shrimp, then sauté until pink— about 3-4 minutes, flipping once. Immediately add the lemon juice, red peppers, capers and parsley. Toss and remove from the heat. (You probably won’t need to salt the shrimp, because of the salty ingredients, but check anyway.)
- Divide the polenta onto plates and top with the shrimp mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Yield: 4, Serving Size: 4
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 835 Calories
- Total Fat: 46.2g
- Saturated Fat: 20.4g
- Cholesterol: 351mg
- Sodium: 3903mg
- Carbohydrates: 35.5g
- Fiber: 1.9g
- Sugar: 3.5g
- Protein: 60.1g
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Swiss Diamond Cookware. All opinions are my own.