Baked Butter Shrimp

From the Coppola family kitchen: Main Dishes

Use wild Gulf Shrimp from a small fisherman if you can find them. If you can't, look for fresh wild shrimp at farmers markets and specialty grocery stores. Farmed shrimp do extensive damage to coastal mangrove forests, harming entire eco-systems and putting small fisherman out of business. It is better to indulge in wild shrimp occasionally than it is to make farmed shrimp a big part of your diet.

  • 4 pounds shrimp in their shells, preferably wild (see note below), rinsed
  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 large or 2 medium lemons, cut into very thin rounds
  • Hearth bread, hot

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pat the shrimp dry if water clings to them and put them into a roasting pan or other baking dish. Set aside.

Put the butter into a medium saucepan, set over low-medium heat. Add the pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. When the butter is fully melted, pour it over the shrimp.

Set the lemons on top of the shrimp in a single layer, overlapping them slightly if need be.

Set on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Check the shrimp and if their shells have not yet turned pink, cook 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Remove the shrimp from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp and lemon to one large bowl or several smaller bowls. Set an empty bowl on the table for the shrimp shells.

Enjoy hot, with hot bread alongside for dipping into the delicious juices.

Note: The best shrimp are wild, not farmed. If you have a fish monger near you, ask what is available. If you can get Gulf shrimp from the White Boot Brigade—there are several good distributors—they are probably the best you will find in the United States.

To drink: Pair with Director’s Cut Sauvignon Blanc.


   Serves 4 to 6

Italia Coppola, who dedicated her book, Mammarella: Mama Coppola's Pasta Cookbook, to her mother Anna Pennino, to her husband Carmine and to her three children, August, Francis and Talia, who have inherited both the Neapolitan spirit and its cooking.