Garlicky Shrimp with White Beans and Tomatoes

Each month when Bon Appetit  arrives, I read it cover to cover like a book. I absorb so much information about everything from food trends and flavor combinations to techniques and must-try restaurants. And, of course, I get a lot of inspiration from the recipes. Like a cookbook, I’ll often make it exactly as the recipe says to, but most of the time I riff because I want to make it easier for weeknights or take it in a slightly different direction.

I received the October issue right before I left to visit my grandparents in Florida with Mom. I read it on the plane and while I was taken with the Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie and Pistachio Pesto, the feature on rustic Spanish cuisine really grabbed my attention. The food was uncomplicated, yet looked so soul-satisfying – that’s my sweet spot combo with food. I dog-earred the page and thought I’d cook a few of the dishes when I got home. I should have known better.

I was no sooner in Mom’s rental Hyundai before we started in with, “What’s for dinner tonight?”. When in the Gulf, eat shrimp. “I’ve got just the recipe!” I pulled out my magazine and we decided to make a version of Bon Appetit s Garlic Shrimp and White Beans.

After a long day of travel and a difficult, but wonderful afternoon with my grandparents, this dish (with some crusty, white bread) was exactly what Mom and I needed: simple, filling comfort food. Well, this and a martini.

Garlicky Shrimp with White Beans and Tomatoes

Garlicky Shrimp with White Beans and Tomatoes
Serves 4

Adapted from this recipe in the October Issue of Bon Appetit .

If you’re using IQF (instant quick freeze) shrimp, save the liquid from thawing and use it for part of the broth.

1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp (preferably pink) thawed and patted dry
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon pimento (smoked paprika)
3 garlic cloves minced and divided
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf, broken into pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drains
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the oil and all the paprika. Add to shrimp to skillet; sauté until gold and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes, adding half the garlic the last few seconds of cooking. Turn shrimp into a bowl and set aside.

Return skillet to heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil, along with pepper flakes, bay leaf and remaining garlic Cook until fragrant and golden, just a few seconds. Add tomatoes; cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook until tomato mixture starts to darken. Add beans and broth; simmer until a thick stew consistency, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and parsley; continue cooking until just heated through. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Serve.