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For a rather warm spring-into-summer evening, I wanted something quick, easy, and light. Tuesday’s a fish day for us, so I thought some kind of shrimp dish might fit the bill. I found the perfect recipe in The Southern Italian Tableby Arthur Schwartz: Gamberi Oreganati.

All too often, Italian restaurants serve oreganato dishes (scampi, clams, etc.) on sizzling platters, reeking of burnt garlic, covered with greasy bread crumbs, and overwhelmed with herbs. This recipe, however, shows the more austere side of southern Italian, with large shrimp baked in a crunchy crust of lightly seasoned breadcrumbs. The restrained use of olive oil, finely minced garlic, and dried oregano allows the flavor of the shrimp to come through the crisp breading.

Gamberi Oreganati
Shrimp Baked with Flavored Bread Crumbs from The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwartz
Serves 2 to 3

1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound cleaned large or jumbo shrimp (20 to 24 to the pound)
Lemon wedges

Place a rack on the top rung of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Combine the bread crumbs, salt, garlic, oregano, paprika, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss until all the shrimp are coated with crumbs.
Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a 10-inch baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Wine Pairing: Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina, Pinot Grigio

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