When you hear the term stew, it usually refers to a dish featuring beef or veal with an assortment of vegetables, likely carrots and potatoes. A stew typically takes quite a few hours of cooking over very low heat. The low and slow method of cooking tenderizes the meat (this works best with less expensive cuts of meat), making it buttery soft. And while I’m all for a long, laborious stew bubbling away on the stove (paired with a glass of red wine for moi!), most of us don’t have that kind of time during the week. Made with just a few naturally gluten free ingredients, my Tuscan-inspired stew with smooth, creamy cannellini beans and fresh, juicy shrimp, has all the feels of a slow-cooked stew but on a weeknight!
- Buy your shrimp already deveined, which saves a lot of time upfront
- If using frozen shrimp, be sure to leave enough time for proper thawing
- This dish is gluten free and also safe for pescatarians and vegetarians who do eat fish/seafood
- If your family and/or kids dislike beans (which mine do!), you can omit the beans and cook the shrimp without them. In a separate pot, I would suggest making some white or brown rice to serve with the shrimp, which will make it a heartier meal.
Tuscan Shrimp & Bean Quick Stew
- 1 1/2 lbs. extra large shrimp, deveined but the shells left on, also referred to as EZ Peel shrimp (reserve shells for the stock)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 13.6-ounce container of crushed tomatoes (I like the flavor of Cirio brand, but any crushed tomatoes will do. You can also use chopped tomatoes, but my family doesn't care for the chunks.)
- About 1 tsp. anchovy paste (Amore brand is the one I use, comes in a tube)
- Salt and black pepper
- Crushed red pepper
- Juice of half a large lemon plus more for serving
- Italian parsley
- Step 1 Remove the peels from the shrimp and place in a small pot with the water. Bring to a boil and slowly simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain using a mesh sieve, discarding the shells but reserving the liquid, which should be pink in color. Set aside.
- Step 2 In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic, anchovy paste and a good pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Step 3 Sautee until softened and the anchovy paste melts into the oil, just a few minutes.
- Step 4 Add the container of crushed tomatoes, the reserved shrimp stock and the beans to the skillet and simmer over medium-low heat, about 15 minutes.
- Step 5 Add the shrimp and the lemon juice, seasoning well with salt and pepper, and cover. Simmer over low heat until the shrimp turns pink and is cooked through. Remove cover, allowing any excess liquid to evaporate. If your stew seems a bit thick, you can thin it to your desired consistency by adding a little bit of water at a time. Keep in mind that the shrimp will also release its own juices as it cooks.
- Step 6 Taste for seasoning and remove from the heat. Place on a platter or shallow bowl and sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread!
- Step 7