Garlic-Basil Shrimp and Grits with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Shrimp and grits is an irresistible Southern comfort dish. In this Popular Recipe, we’re giving the classic an Italian spin with fresh basil, Parmesan, and a garlicky cherry tomato sauce. The grits get even more decadent with luscious mascarpone cheese that’s swirled in at the end. Is shrimp-tastic a word?
Total cook time
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 ounce basil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/4 pounds shrimp
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups quick-cooking grits
- 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- black pepper
Cut butter into small cubes, place on a plate, and refrigerate until Step 6 (see recipe tip). Rinse cherry tomatoes and halve. Rinse basil and roughly chop or tear leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic.
Pat shrimp dry with paper towel and season all over with .75 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shrimp and cook until just pink, 1-2 minutes per side (the shrimp will finish cooking in the sauce). Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a plate, then wipe pan clean for the next step.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan from shrimp over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add tomatoes and garlic and cook, pressing tomatoes to release their juices, until softened, 4-6 minutes. Add white wine and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, 4-5 minutes more. Season with .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.
While sauce cooks, in a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a near-boil over high heat (it should just be lightly bubbling). Whisk in grits and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook grits, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 7-9 minutes (see recipe tip). Remove pot from heat and set aside, still covered, until Step 6.
While grits cook, add seared shrimp and half of basil to cherry tomato sauce, still over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside until grits are cooked.
To pot with grits, off heat, whisk in Parmesan, .33 cup mascarpone, and butter cubes to combine (see recipe tip). Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Divide grits among serving bowls (see recipe tip), then top with shrimp and cherry tomato sauce. Garnish with remaining basil and dig in!
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.