Tag Archives: seafood

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

As much as cooking is a passion of mine, finding a meal that comes together quickly, simply and impressively is like finding a five pound box of jumbo shrimp at my door! So, imagine my happiness right now…I’m one of thirty food bloggers chosen to participate in a Shrimp Showdown hosted by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. So, with a box full of OXO tools and another of jumbo shrimp, I’ve come up with a simple recipe perfect for a quick weeknight meal and special enough for fuss-free entertaining.

We love seafood, but shrimp may be our favorite. What I love about shrimp is its versatility. It just melds with any variation of flavors. I have to tell you, I had a very long list of ideas for this project and at some point, I’ll share them all with you, but I wanted this to be something simple that can become your go-to recipe. The shrimp, as you know, cooks in mere minutes, so, pairing it with a quick cooking polenta gives you this perfect dish that looks like you fussed…but you didn’t. No one has to know…I’ll keep that secret!

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta

Soft Polenta
1 1/2 C. milk (I use a low fat milk)
1 1/2 C. low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 C. quick cooking polenta
1/4 C. ricotta (I use fat free, but use what you have)
1 T. butter
1/8 C. grated Parmesan

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas
olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, finely diced
approx. 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. dry white wine
4 Campari tomatoes, quartered (you can also use about 1/2 C. of grape tomatoes halved)
1 C. peas, fresh or frozen
lemon zest
fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Prepare the polenta first. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the milk and the broth and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to low and cook for about two minutes. Add the ricotta, butter and Parmesan. Cook for another 30 seconds. Cover and remove from the heat. Set aside.

In a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle just a tad (about 1 teaspoon) of olive oil and add the pancetta. Cook until the fat is rendered and the pancetta begins to crisp a bit and get golden. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for just about 2 minutes per side. Do this in two batches to avoid crowding the pan. Once the shrimp are cooked, move them to the plate with the pancetta. You may need to add another small drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Now, add the onion and be careful to just sweat the onion. You don’t want to brown it. As soon as the onion is translucent, add the garlic. Cook for just a minute and add the white wine. Simmer for another minute and add the tomatoes and peas. After one more minute add the shrimp and pancetta back to the pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Toss everything together.

To serve, divide the polenta between four dinner plates, top with the shrimp and pancetta and sprinkle on some lemon zest, parsley and some extra grated Parmesan.

Serves 4

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish


  • The polenta will seem a bit loose right after you’ve made it, but this is intentional. As it sits, it will thicken up and become the perfect consistency for serving. If you like it even more loose, feel free to whisk in a tiny bit of warm milk before serving.
  • I love adding the ricotta to this polenta, but if you don’t have any…the recipe will still work fine. It does add a bit of creaminess that I really like.

Another key to bringing this together quickly and easily is working with great tools. I’d never seen this OXO tool before, but their Shrimp Cleaner is very cool! I was intimidated just looking at it, but once I tried it…I was impressed. It removes the shell and the vein in basically one step. Easy peasy. Some of their other tools I used are their 3 Piece Bowl and Colander Set for rinsing the shrimp, the Flexible Kitchen and Herb Snips for snipping fresh parsley and I absolutely love their 12″ Tongs with Silicone Heads. They get used on a daily basis in my kitchen and I love that they don’t scratch my pans in the process.

Lucky you…OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council are giving away a set of those tools and many more along with a $100 Visa card! Click to enter now!

Shrimp with Pancetta and Peas Over Soft Polenta from Taste Love & Nourish

The Shrimp Showdown Giveaway!

Click here to enter to win all of these great OXO Shrimp Tools ($80 value) and a $100 Visa Gift Card from the NFI Shrimp Council!

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway are sponsored by OXO and the NFI Shrimp Council. I was given the tools and the shrimp to provide a review. All opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Take a peek at all of the other food bloggers participating in the Shrimp Showdown!

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Lunchtime: Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread

This is the second of my “Lunchtime” posts. You may remember my first, Tuscan Toast with Goat Cheese, Pea Shoots and Blackberries. This is where I share my odd-ball lunches, in the hopes that you may find them kind of delicious too!

We ate a lot of fava beans when I was young, mostly in the form of Foul Medames. These days, I love experimenting with fresh favas. Fava beans have a lot of flavor. They are nutty, buttery and slightly bitter. You can find them fresh in stores in the spring and early summer. Try to choose the largest pods. They are usually the better tasting beans. If you cannot find them fresh, look for frozen fava beans. They are just as delicious. Fava beans have a reputation for being difficult; they do need to be shelled and peeled from their skins, but it really does go quickly. Read how to prepare them below.

I love smoked salmon for so many reasons. Mostly, it reminds me of my Dad…he would order a whole side of salmon during the holidays (and we’d devour it!). But, really, it’s hard to resist its rich, buttery flavor that can become an appetizer, breakfast or…lunch! I knew I wanted to do something different with this salmon. Typically, I love just a light smidge of cream cheese or butter on a toasted bread or a flatbread crisp, but today, I wanted to lighten things up and be creative. I had some favas and decided to combine the two. To bring them together, I used a bit of dill. Dill compliments both fava beans and salmon perfectly.

Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Mashed Fava Beans and Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Mashed Fava Beans:
2 C. fresh or frozen fava beans, shelled
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
1 t. dried dill or 2 t. chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper

smoked salmon
your choice of flatbread, bread or crackers (I use Wasa Crisp n’ Light Flatbread)
lemon wedge for squeezing on top

In a small pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil and add a bit of salt and the fava beans. Cook for just one minute. Remove and drain. Rinse with cold water and shell the beans from their tough outer shell. Pick apart just a bit of the outer skin, then pop the bean right out. Discard the hard skins.

Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and the dill. Pulse until the mixture is creamy, but still a bit chunky. Add the salt and pepper to taste and scoop the mixture into a bowl. I like to drizzle with a bit of olive oil on top and maybe a sprinkling of additional lemon zest and dill.

To assemble, spread a bit of the mashed fava beans on a flatbread, top with one or two slices of smoked salmon, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon on top and maybe some black pepper, dill or even a small dollop of additional fava.



  • The Mashed Fava Bean can be served on crostini, in a bowl surrounded with pita chips or along side crackers as an appetizer.
  • Use the best quality of olive oil you can for this. It makes all the difference. I was fortunate to receive a gorgeous and delicious bottle from the makers of Calivirgin recently. It’s truly the most delicious olive oil I’ve ever tasted!


Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread