Shrimp Fra Diavlo with Cacio E Pepe Grits

A trip to Charleston, South Carolina had the power to turn anyone into a shrimp and grits eating fool. Most traditional shrimp and grits recipes use a kind of tomato-y peppery sauce on top of the shrimp. I wanted to take that idea and cheesy grits and kick it into overdrive.

Shrimp fra diavlo keeps the kind of spicy tomato goodness on a classic shrimp and grits, but amps up the garlic and herb content to make it sing. And the cacio e pepe grits? Ohhhhh those grits. Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish that is essentially the real Italian version of an Alfredo. Cacio e pepe translates into cheese and pepper. So think parmesan cheesy grits with a huge black pepper punch. Even my friend Mike who lived in Charleston called them the best grits he’s ever had. Put simply, this shrimp and grits goes beyond classic Charleston into nirvana.

Grits Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stone ground grits don’t use quick grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

In a medium saucepan get your water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add the grits and reduce heat to medium-low to get the grits to simmer. Allow the grits to simmer for 45 minutes. Add the butter, cream, parmesan,pepper, and nutmeg. Salt to taste.

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more if you like it hot
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh topped parsley

Season the shrimp with 1/2 tsp each of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and saute about a minute each side. You want the shrimp to just barely be opaque pink. Set the shrimp aside. Add the garlic, shallot, red pepper if you want it extra hot, and oregano. If the pan is dry add a splash more oil. Saute until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half, about two to three minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp back into the pqn and cook for one more minute. Season to taste.

Serve over the grits with freshly chopped parsley.

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