Shrimp Paesano, often known as “Shrimp Paesano,” is a celebrated dish from Paesano’s Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This renowned dish features large, succulent shrimp perfectly sautéed and served with a vibrant and savory sauce. The sauce, a flavorful blend of garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, chicken broth, and fresh lemon juice, offers a delightful balance of tanginess and subtle heat, making it a hit among seafood lovers.

Not only is it easy to make, but Shrimp Paesano also offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors. The addition of fresh chives and parsley brings a refreshing taste, while the buttery and creamy notes in the light sauce will leave you wanting more.

This dish isn’t just rich in flavor and texture; it’s versatile too. Pair it with your favorite pasta or seafood to create a complete meal, or serve it over garlic bread as an appetizer.

The finishing touch is the addition of butter, providing a rich and creamy texture to the sauce. Chopped fresh parsley adds freshness and color, enhancing both the taste and presentation of the dish. Typically served over pasta or with crusty bread, Paesano’s shrimp allows diners to savor every drop of the flavorful sauce, showcasing the transformative power of Italian cuisine.

The Story Behind The Recipe

Shrimp Paesano is a classic Italian dish from the southern region of Calabria. Its name comes from the Italian word “paese,” meaning “village,” and it’s usually served in small, family-run restaurants in that area.

Calabria, located between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea, is known for its tasty traditional recipes, especially seafood dishes like Shrimp Paesano. This dish uses simple ingredients commonly found in Italian cooking, such as tomatoes, garlic, onion, and oregano. Calabrian cuisine often features fresh herbs and spices, giving the dish a delicious and fragrant flavor.

Shrimp Paesano holds deep cultural roots, passed down through generations in Calabrian families. It’s a special dish often made for important events or family get-togethers, and the recipe is usually a well-kept secret.

While Shrimp Paesano has become popular beyond Calabria and can be enjoyed in Italian restaurants worldwide, it stays true to its origins and remains a cherished and iconic part of Italian cuisine.

How To Cook Shrimp Paesano


  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked pasta for serving

Step-by-step instructions for making Shrimp Paesano

  1. In a flat dish, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Roll the shrimp in the flour mix and shake off extra.
  2. Heat olive oil in a big pan on medium-high. Add shrimp, and cook until both sides are golden (around 2 mins each). Take out the shrimp and put them aside.
  3. In the same pan, put onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook until veggies are soft (about 5 mins).
  4. Add diced tomatoes, white wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
  5. Put the shrimp back in the pan, mix with the sauce. Cook for another 5 mins until the shrimp is fully cooked.
  6. Add chopped parsley, and then take the pan off the heat.
  7. Serve the shrimp and sauce over cooked pasta, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.

Tips for making Shrimp Paesano

  • Shrimp cook fast, so be careful not to cook them too long. They should turn pink and see-through. If you overcook them, they might become tough and chewy.
  • If you use a non-stick pan, the shrimp won’t stick and burn. If you don’t have one, use plenty of oil to prevent sticking.
  • Choose a dry white wine for the sauce, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. It gives the dish a nice rich taste.
  • Decide how much red pepper you want in the sauce. If you like it spicier, add more; if you prefer less spice, add less. Adjust it to your liking.

Flavourful substitute

  • Shrimp: If you don’t like shrimp or can’t eat it, you can try using scallops, mussels, or pieces of firm white fish like cod or halibut instead.
  • Olive oil: You can change olive oil to vegetable oil, canola oil, or even melted butter for a slightly different taste.
  • Garlic: If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder. But using fresh garlic makes the dish more flavorful.
  • White wine: If you don’t have white wine or don’t want to use alcohol, you can use chicken or vegetable broth instead.

Serving suggestions

  • With Rice: Pair Shrimp Paesano with steamed white or brown rice. The savory sauce will add a delicious touch to the rice.
  • Crusty Bread: Enjoy Shrimp Paesano with crusty bread on the side. Use the bread to soak up the tasty sauce for an extra delightful experience.
  • Mixed Greens Salad: Serve alongside a light mixed greens salad for a refreshing contrast. A simple salad with lemon vinaigrette can be a great accompaniment.
  • Vegetables: Include a side of sautéed or grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, or spinach, to add more variety and nutrition to the meal.
  • Garnished with Parsley: Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley on top of the dish before serving for a burst of color and an extra layer of flavor.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Accompany the shrimp with roasted potatoes. The combination of the savory shrimp and the crispy potatoes is a delightful pairing.


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