Jumbo Shrimp with Eggplant Dumplings (Gamberoni con Gnocchetti di Melanzane)

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Eggplant and shrimp is a combination I had never tried before, but I did try thanks to Marina of Le Ricette di Baccos and it was wonderful! The eggplant is first turned into what the French call caviar d’aubergines (i.e. eggplant puree), which is then turned into a dumpling with ricotta and aromatic herbs. This elegant appetizer was based upon Marina’s idea, but I made some changes in how I made the dumplings. These eggplant dumplings (gnocchetti) are a bit of work to make, but the wonderful eggplant flavor makes it worth the effort.

Ingredients

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For 3 servings

3 eggplants

9 jumbo shrimp

100 grams ricotta

2 tsp  minced oregano leaves

2 tsp minced mint leaves

2 tsp minced thyme leaves + more for garnish

2 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano

3 Tbsp flour

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine

Preparation

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Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Pierce the eggplants multiple times with a fork.

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Roast the eggplants at 200ºC/400ºF until completely tender, about 1 hour.

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Allow the eggplants to cool until you can handle them. Cut off the stem and the bottom end from each eggplant and discard.

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Scrape out the eggplant flesh with a spoon.

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Puree the eggplant in the food processor.

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Use a foodmill to remove the seeds.

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The resulting eggplant puree will still be quite watery.

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Pour the eggplant puree into a non-stick frying pan.

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Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.

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Cook the eggplant puree until it is no longer watery, stirring regularly to prevent burning. I ended up with 180 grams of eggplant puree (caviar d’aubergines).

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Combine the eggplant puree with the ricotta, herbs, cheese, salt, and pepper.

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Don’t forget the flour.

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Stir to mix. The mixture should have a nice thick consistency, not too thin.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.

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Meanwhile, peel the shrimp.

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Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over high heat and add the shrimp.

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Turn the shrimp over after a minute. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the white wine.

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Cook for another 30 seconds, then turn off the heat.

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Reduce the heat such that the boiling water will just be simmering. If it boils too vigorously, the dumplings will fall apart. Make a quenelle with two tablespoons (this is a French words that means make a roundish shape that fits right between the two spoons) and lower it into the simmering water. Repeat until you have used up all of the eggplant batter.

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The dumplings are cooked when they rise to the surface.

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With a slotted spoon take the dumplings out as soon as they float…

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…and add them to the shrimp. Be careful not to break up the dumplings, which are very delicate.

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Serve the shrimp and the dumplings with the pan juices and garnish with a bit of thyme.

Wine pairing

Marina suggested a pinot grigio, and that was indeed a good choice. It has to be full-bodied pinot grigio such as from Alto Adige. A lot of bad watery pinot grigio is produced in Veneto (but of course there are exceptions).

Flashback


This strawberry cake is amazingly yummy and a good way to celebrate the summer while it lasts.

16 thoughts on “Jumbo Shrimp with Eggplant Dumplings (Gamberoni con Gnocchetti di Melanzane)

  1. So many lovely flavors in this recipe! We made our garden eggplant, white and purple varieties, grilled the other night… along with grilled shrimp! I love the sound of the oregano in your dish, which is one of my favorite herbs to enjoy during the summer months.

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  2. I better not put down an inelegant ‘nice’ in capital letters! Absolutely love this and the dumplings are new to me . . . . but I love eggplant and have some small Asian ones in the fridge . . . this truly is one to try soonest . . .

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    • I use it a lot. Just make sure to get a good one, with two supports (apart from the handle) for better balance, sturdy, stainless steel, and with a ‘disc’ for smooth operation.

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  3. You’ve outdone yourself, Stefan. Eggplant gnocchietti? Wow! And serving them with shrimp must have been a wonderful combination. The presentation sure looked good.

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