All recipes developed by Mario Batali
3 pounds SeaMazz large (U- 8 or U- 6) shrimp, thawed and peeled
(tails left on)
6 long branches rosemary, leaves removed to make skewers,
and leaves reserved if grilling the shrimp; or wooden skewers
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup limoncello or other lemon liqueur
2 bunches oregano, leaves only, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Divide shrimp into 6 equal portions and skewer them onto the rosemary
branches or the wooden skewers.
2. In a baking dish or casserole large enough to hold the skewers in a
single layer, combine lemon zest and juice, limoncello, oregano and olive
oil. Place shrimp in the marinade, turning the skewers so they are well
coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 3 hours.
3. Preheat the grill or broiler.
4. If using a charcoal grill, just before cooking the shrimp, scatter the rosemary
leaves over the coals. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserving the
marinade, and grill or broil for 3 minutes. Turn, baste with the marinade and
cook for 1 minute more, or until just cooked through.
Chef Mario Batali’s mantra is “Al tavolo non s’invecchia
mai”—at the table, one never gets old. If you’ve ever
had the good fortune of being at the table with him,
there’s a good chance that shrimp will be served.
“One of the nice things about shrimp is that it is an
excellent conductor of whatever you want it to taste
like,” enthuses Batali. “It will take lemon and garlic,
as is very traditional. It takes well to tomato; it’s not
intimidated by chilies or spices. And it does well on the
grill, in the sauté pan or in the oven. You can use it a
thousand ways! So as a cook it just gives you so much
opportunity to be creative.”
One of the beauties of shrimp, and their culinary
cousin, lobster, is that preparation is simple. They’re
succulent and beautiful in something as easy as a quick
sauté in extra-virgin olive oil and lemon. And they’re
wonderful off a well-oiled grill.
Just don’t overcook them, Batali advises. “You can
have them be very tender and succulent if you cook
them just the right way. If you’re unsure, you can take
one out during cooking and cut it in half and look in it.
If it’s relatively opaque, you’re in good shape. If it’s still
kind of clear or see-through, then you know you need
to cook it a little more.”
His favorite shrimp recipe? “I love to cook it with
garlic and scallions, then toss it with a little pasta with
hot chili flakes.”
You can find more of Batali’s shrimp recipes in his
five cookbooks (some available on costco.com). His
Web site is www.mariobatali.com. Or catch him on
Food Network, where he hosts Molto Mario.