Serves 8

recipe by Mario Batali


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds shelled rock shrimp
  • 1/4 cup coarsley chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • freshly ground pepper



In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil with the sugar.  Whisk in the polenta in a thin stream.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt.  Press a piece of parchment or wax paper directly onto the surface of the polenta and keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the scallions and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and 1/4 cup of water and simmer over moderately high heat for 1 minute.  Add the shrimp and simmer, stirring until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest and season with

Rewarm the polenta over moderately high high, whisking constantly.  Spoon a pool of polenta in the center of 8 shallow bowls.  Spoon the shrimp and sauce over and around the polenta and serve right away.

Click here for a pdf:
Very Soft Polenta w Rock Shrimp Ragout