Inspired by the Southern Italian spicy tomato and egg dish called “eggs in purgatory,” this dish pivots to lean shrimp and features big pearl couscous for a truly satisfying texture. Each bite is a delicious mix of rich and slightly spicy tomato sauce, sweet shrimp and tender couscous. The recipe calls for Calabrian chilis, which have a distinct peppery flavor, but you can swap in chili flakes instead for heat if you prefer. The anchovies aren’t a star in their own right; rather, they bring umami and an essence of the sea, because shrimp alone have such a mild flavor.
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp saffron
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/4 cups pearl couscous
- 2 1/2 cups chicken, vegetable or fish stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tbsp finely chopped Calabrian chili remove seeds for less heat
- 3 oil-packed anchovy filets finely chopped
- 1 pound ButcherBox Shrimp, defrosted, rinsed and pat very dry
- Chopped fresh parsley for serving
- olive oil for serving
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Melt the butter, then add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saffron; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and wine; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the couscous is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain remaining liquid, if necessary.
- Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, chili and anchovy; cook, stirring, until the tomato dissolves, about 1 minute. Stir in the shrimp and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are just cooked through and pink, 3 to 5 minutes (an instant-read thermometer stuck into a shrimp should read 145ºF). Remove from the heat.
- Divide among 4 shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.