6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1½ pounds extra-large or jumbo shrimp , peeled and deveined
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups dieced inner celery stalks and leaves
¼ teaspoon pepperoncino
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, preferable San Marzano, crushed by hand
¼ cup tiny capers in brine, drained
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ¼ cup of the olive oil and the garlic. Once garlic begins to sizzle, add half of the shrimp and the thyme sprigs. Season shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt and toss just until the shrimp are seared (but not cooked all the way through), just a minute or 2. Remove shrimp to a plate with tongs and repeat with remaining shrimp and another ½ teaspoon salt.
Once all of the shrimp has been seared and removed, add celery to skillet and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add peperoncino, let toast for a minute, then pour in the tomatoes and slosh out the can with 1 cup hot water. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until celery is tender and sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in capers, return to a boil and add shrimp back. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Lidia suggests serving over rice or polenta.
Recipe Courtesy: Lidia Bastianich