I’m excited to share my 15-minute shrimp in sauce because it is always a win to get restaurant-quality taste in such a short time. And this dish wins every time. It is fast, it is SO easy, and it tastes like something you would pay good money to eat. What’s not to love about that?
My last recipe was a delicious, yet quick and easy cilantro lime rice. As I explained in that post, after photographing the finished dish, I had to make a fast lunch for Steve to fit between his work-from-home conference calls. I made up this shrimp in sauce, and the man was in love. And so was I.
It paired well with the cilantro lime rice because the citrusy and herby freshness of the rice is a perfect complement for the shrimp in a rich, creamy tomato and caper sauce. That’s why I’m featuring it with the cilantro lime rice today. But the truth is, I already have tons of ideas for other uses for this great sauce. For instance, I can see:
- using popcorn shrimp instead and topping a beautiful filet of fish
- served over steamed lobster medallions
- as a luscious topping for a tender juicy chicken breast
- or without shrimp, served over a thick grilled pork chop or tender sliced roasted pork tenderloin
As you can see, this sauce could have some serious legs!
Let’s make the 15-minute shrimp in sauce
I don’t frequently use tomato paste because, as you may remember from previous posts, I eat tomatoes, but they aren’t necessarily my “go to” food option. But as in my recipe for cioppino, the tomato paste here really adds a rich, sumptuous layer of flavor that is key to our sauce.
And because I want that sumptuous tomato flavor to shine, I chose a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I think the underlying flavor of roasted vegetables really complements the richness of the tomato. Together they elevate this sauce.
And of course, a nice dry white wine to bring that subtle little hint of tanginess, to cut through some of the richness. I used a Pinot Grigio because that is what I had on hand. But a Chardonnay would work well also.
Oh, and make sure your butter is at room temperature and nice and soft…
…because you will need to use half of it to make a roux paste with the flour. This white roux paste will be added at the end. But the recipe goes so fast, you should prepare this first, so it is ready when you need it.
In a large skillet warmed to medium, melt the remaining butter and lightly sauté the onion and garlic. Only for about a minute or so.
I say lightly because you only want to warm them until the aromas come out. Notice that my onion is chopped, not diced. I want to be able to see and feel the texture of the onion in the finished sauce for some added flavor and texture. If you overcook them now, they will dissolve in the finished sauce.
Then add the shrimp.
Cook them just for a minute or so. Just until the side that is down starts to turn pink. Then flip them over.
It is okay if that pink side is still slightly raw. Shrimp cooks fast, and it will finish off in the sauce. Cooking them fully now, then continuing to cook them in the sauce could leave you with rubbery shrimp. You want them nice and tender.
Immediately after flipping the shrimp, add the white wine and stir.
Then add the vegetable broth and tomato paste.
I like to whisk the tomato paste into the broth so that they are already combined when they go into the pan. That way I don’t have to cook them longer while I stir to get everything evenly distributed.
Next, add the capers.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a quick boil. Then lower the heat back down to medium.
In the center of the pan, add a teaspoon at a time of the roux paste and whisk it in quickly to dissolve and distribute.
Keep adding the roux paste a teaspoon at a time, whisking and distributing after every addition, until the sauce starts to look creamy but not thick. It needs to move like a liquid and be pourable, but still have a rich, creamy texture. You will likely not need all the roux.
Continue to cook the shrimp in sauce for about 3 minutes more, stirring frequently, to allow the flour to cook through. You don’t want to taste raw flour in the finished sauce.
Then remove from the flame and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley if you like.
And you are ready to serve!
Look at that gorgeous color! And the aromas? Uhmmmm uhmmmm!
As I said before, it is delicious with cilantro lime rice.
Trust me, for your first meal with this amazingly easy but super flavorful 15-minute shrimp in sauce, you can’t go wrong with the pairing. And, given that the rice recipe is so quick and easy too, you will literally have produced a restaurant-quality, healthy meal in less than 20 minutes!
- 14-16 raw shrimp. medium-sized, peeled, and deveined
- 1½ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, medium-sized, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon flour, heaping
- 2 tablespoon butter, softened, separated
- Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Start by preparing the white roux paste. In a small, but deep bowl, whisk the flour and half the softened butter vigorously until a thick creamy paste is formed. Set aside.
- Stir the tomato paste into the vegetable broth until blended.
- In a large skillet warmed to medium, melt the remaining butter and lightly sauté the onion and garlic. Only for about a minute or until aromatic.
- Add the shrimp and cook for a minute, or just until the side that is down starts to turn pink. Then flip them over.
- Immediately add the wine and stir. Then add the vegetable broth/tomato paste liquid and the capers.
- Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a quick boil. Then lower the heat back down to medium.
- In the center of the pan, add a teaspoon at a time of the roux paste and whisk it in quickly to dissolve and distribute.
- Keep adding the roux paste a teaspoon at a time, whisking and distributing after every addition, until the sauce starts to look creamy but not thick. It needs to move like a liquid and be pourable, but still have a rich, creamy texture. You will likely not need all the roux.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired. The vegetable broth will usually add enough sodium, so adding salt may not be necessary.
- Continue to cook the shrimp in sauce for about 3 minutes more, stirring frequently, to allow the flour to cook through.
- Then remove from the stove, garnish with some fresh chopped parsley, and serve.