Looking for an amazing Calabrian recipe that uses Calabrian peppers? This recipe for Calabrian shrimp and scallops is so flavorful and easy!
Calabrian peppers hail from Calabria, Italy and they are a staple of Italian cuisine. They have quite a bit of heat, but they also bring a smoky fruitiness and, when canned in oil, a touch of tanginess. They are wonderful for cooking because while they are certainly spicy, the don’t overwhelm the other flavors of the dish. The heat and smokiness from these complex peppers complements the sweetness of succulent shrimp and scallops.
How to Make this Calabrian Shrimp and Scallops:
Ready to cook this Calabrian recipe? First, start with a jar of Calabrian peppers in oil. You can also use Calabrian pepper paste. If using whole peppers, blend them in a food processor until they turn into a paste. Start with just a few peppers and add more depending on your heat tolerance.
Next, sauté onions until softened. Add garlic and dry thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add butter and the chili paste and cook until fragrant. Finally, add a can of crushed tomatoes and 3 cups of chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 30 minutes until reduced slightly.
From there, it’s just a matter of poaching the shrimp and scallops in the spicy broth. You can serve these scallops over cooked orzo or add a can of white beans straight to the spicy broth while it simmers.
It truly is that easy!
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Calabrian Shrimp and Scallops
- Wide pot
- Small pot
- ½ cup Calabrian peppers in oil more or less to taste
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme crushed between fingers lightly
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 3 cups chicken or seafood stock
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 pound scallops side muscle removed
- 1½ cups dry orzo
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- Flaky sea salt optional
Prepare the Peppers:
- Transfer the Calabrian peppers to a food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Set aside.
Cook the Aromatics:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until it just begins to soften.
- Add the garlic and dry thyme and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter into the garlic. Once frothy, Add the Calabrian chili paste and cook for 1 minute more.
Simmer the Broth:
- Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes until thickened. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the Orzo:
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Cook the Shrimp and Scallops:
- Once the broth has simmered, cook the shrimp and scallops. Bring the broth to a bubbling simmer.
- Pat the scallops and shrimp dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Add them to the broth. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Turn off the heat.
Prepare the Parsley-Lemon Oil:
- While the scallops and shrimp cook, prepare the oil. Combine the extra virgin olive oil with the lemon juice and zest. Add the parsley and season with flaky sea salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside. You may have some additional oil; reserve it for another use!
- Divide the orzo between bowls. Ladle the broth and seafood on top. Drizzle with the lemon-parsley oil. Enjoy!