Mario Batali’s Shrimp in Crazy Water (Gamberoni All’Acqua Pazza)

November 15th, 2011

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NOTE: The photo above is how the dish turned out in the My Last Supper kitchen, and may look different than as envisioned by the original chef.


Serves 4

  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped into ½-in dice
  • 4 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh hot chilies
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped into ½-in dice, fronds reserved
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juice
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup seawater, or ½ cup water mixed with 1 tsp salt
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled, head and tail on
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • In a 6-qt soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until smoking.  Add the onion, garlic, chilies, and diced fennel and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the tomatoes, wine, and water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and simmer until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  • To serve, pour into a soup tureen and garnish with the fennel fronds.
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Mel's comments

Being a bit careless, half way through the recipe, I realized I didn’t have any white wine at home, so naughty me, I used water instead.  The dish was really hearty, healthy, and simple.

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