Pesto Shrimp with Parmesan Polenta
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup Instant Polenta
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3 quarter-inch-thick slices of Pancetta (about 5 ounces), cubed
1 pound of 16/21 fresh Gulf shrimp (or substitute your favorite shrimp, between 16-21 shrimp per pound)
3 ounces HemisFares Pesto alla Genovese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Fresh basil rinsed and dried
Peel shrimp and devein, leaving the tails intact, then set aside.
In a medium saucepot, bring 3 cups chicken stock to a boil. Add polenta and begin whisking. Add Parmesan cheese, and salt, then continue whisking while cooking over medium heat. Add more chicken stock as needed and continue cooking until smooth, about 5 minutes total.
Add pancetta to a large sauce pan and sautee over medium heat until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add shrimp to the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Watch them closely and turn after about 1 minute, ensuring they are cooked to a firm, opaque texture – about 3 minutes total. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of pesto, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a fresh saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes. Continue to cook until tomatoes blister and form a tomato sauce.
To assemble, plate polenta, then add more pesto as desired. Top with tomato sauce and shrimp, and finish with pancetta and small pieces of basil.