BAKED SCAMPI WITH CRUNCHY CRUMB TOPPING
Italian Home Cooking
by Julia Della Croce
This is probably one of my favorite shrimp dishes of all for its rosemary-garlic flavor and pleasant, crunchy topping (the Italians call a baked dish with a crunchy bread topping gratinate). It is often one of the seven seafood courses I make for la vigilia, the traditional feast of seven fishes on Christmas Eve, because it so easy to make and so festive.
• 2 pounds large shrimp (or prawns), peeled and deveined
• 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
• 8 large cloves garlic, finely grated
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• sea salt
• 1½ cups panko or plain white breadcrumbs
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Using a paring knife, make a cut down the back side of each shrimp so that it can lie flat like a book with the tail end standing straight up like a handle.
2. In a bowl, combine half the olive oil, the garlic, rosemary, marjoram or oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Add the shrimp and use your hands to work in the seasonings. Cover and chill for 1 to 5 hours.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the panko or bread crumbs, parsley, chives, the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, and salt to taste.
4. Select a baking dish large enough to accommodate the shrimp without crowding. Grease lightly with olive oil. Pour in the wine and arrange the shrimp inside, tail facing upward. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the shrimp. Slide the baking pan on the middle rack of the oven and cook until golden, about 15 minutes.
Serve at once.