Tonight, we’re making grilled Gulf shrimp with ratatouille stuffed shells. The best shrimp you’ve ever eaten isn’t frozen or imported — it’s right here in the good old US of A. Specifically, along the nutrient-rich Gulf Coast, which is home to plump, meaty shellfish in extraordinary abundance. Gulf Coast Seafood has been providing fishermen, grocers, chefs and foodies with an economic engine that powers the entire region. High in demand, the Gulf Coast produces 70 percent of the nation’s oysters and 69 percent of domestic shrimp.
Combine herb-marinated Gulf shrimp with fresh vegetables to freshen up classic stuffed shells (think heavy on the protein and produce, light on the cheese). Whatever you’re growing or finding at the market will go beautifully in the mix.
- 1 pound Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 5 basil leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon oregano, torn
- 1 tablespoon thyme, torn
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, small dice
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup no-sodium shrimp stock
- 1 large eggplant, medium dice
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves
- 5 Fresh Basil leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 jumbo pasta shells
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
For the Shrimp
Toss shrimp with torn basil, oregano and thyme, seasonings and oil. Marinate for at least 2 hours.
Set grill to medium heat and cook shrimp thoroughly.
For the Ratatouille
Coat onion with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil.
Toss the remainder of vegetables, except garlic, in remaining olive oil and set aside.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add onions and lightly caramelize. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add shrimp stock and reduce by half. Add remaining vegetables and thyme, torn basil leaves and fresh parsley. Cook until al dente and vibrant in color.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Stir well and keep on low heat until serving.
Cook pasta shells in boiling water until tender. Drain well. Mix together 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese with 1 cup of ratatouille. Stir until cheese is well combined. Stuff the pasta shells and serve with remaining ratatouille and Gulf shrimp.