Everyone adored my mom’s shrimp sauce, but I never tried to make it, so she never told me how. After Mom was gone, I was still living in our house when I called her best friend, Bobbie, to invite her for dinner, mentioning I was making the shrimp sauce. “Hope you saved the shrimp shells,” she said laughingly. “You can’t make the stock without them.” “Oh of course,” I lied. I hung up, rushed into the kitchen and saved the shells from the trash. (They were in a big plastic bag and I was going to boil them, so no one would die folks!!) I never said where the shells had been, the sauce was divine, and hooray for Bobbie and the secret to shrimp sauce!
1/3 cup olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tblsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 lb. fresh large shrimp, shelled
Shells from shrimp
1½ cups of cold water
2 to 4 tbsp butter (optional)
After cleaning the shrimp and saving the shells for stock, in a 1 qt saucepan simmer the shrimp shells in 1½ cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve fish stock for sauce.
In a 2 qt saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic after putting it through a garlic press. I know on TV the chefs hands are a blur as they whip a knife through mounds of peeled garlic. My hand is a blur as I press it all through my fabulous garlic press.(Thank you Leslie for giving it to me at Xmas).
Add the peeled shrimp, keeping the heat on medium high and continuing to stir constantly until they turn pink and firm. I hate underdone shrimp. After you add them to the sauce they soften up anyway.Add parsley and stir into the sauce. Add shrimp stock and bring sauce to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
If sauce seems too thin, add 2 to 4 tbsp of salted butter. I always add it and it does thicken the sauce and add flavor. The french had a phrase that translated means “put in the butter,” probably because butter makes everything taste better. Sadly it also makes people plumper, so add only after jogging for several hours or if you have starved for several days beforehand. I’m just sayin….
One lb of pasta with shrimp sauce serves 4 – 6 people . It also makes a wonderful sauce for risotto. Just place the risotto in a soup bowl and ladle a nice portion of sauce over it. Sprinkle with a good parmesan cheese.