MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP STEW
6 cups water
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound shrimp (25-30 count)
spray olive oil
1 cup Spanish onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups (1 pound) plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup (6 ounces) rosamarina or orzo pasta
3 cups reduced shrimp broth (from above)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Poaching shrimp: Combine all the poaching ingredients except the shrimp in a 4 quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and return to the simmer. Immediately turn off the heat and let the shrimp stand in the hot liquid for 20 minutes.
Remove the shrimp and when they are cool enough to handle, shell them. Return the shells to the hot liquid, bring it back to a simmer and reduce to 1 quart. Reserve the poached shrimp.
Stew: Heat a heavy, nonreactive pan. Spray with olive oil and saute onion pieces over medium low heat until they soften. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Push the vegetables to the side, spray the pan again, sprinkle on the pasta and stir to moisten with oil. Add the tomato pieces and cook for a minute, until they begin to render their juices. Pour in the shrimp broth, cover and simmer slowly for 20 minutes, until the pasta is puffed and tender.
Uncover and simmer to reduce excess liquid, stir in wine and let it reduce also. Finally fold in the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes to warm them. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the basil just before serving.
Garnish: Sprinkle each serving with feta.
Yield: 4 servings