Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Spanish Tapas-style Shrimp

Tapas is one of my favorite type of meals in a restaurant or bar — I can order a few different plates, a glass of a lovely wine or an interesting  cocktail, and graze the afternoon away. Ah, memories of past European trips flooding my mind right now…

This dish (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything) is a spin on Spanish tapas-style shrimp, but served over linguini, it’s a perfect weeknight dinner. I always have frozen wild-caught shrimp on hand for those nights when I can’t figure out what to have for dinner, because they defrost quickly, cook quickly, and easily pair with pasta, rice, or wrapped in a taco. 

When I made this last week, I knew it would be good because I usually love Bittman’s recipes, but I never expected to want to “lick the plate!” The juices that you get with the spices in this recipe (cumin, hot paprika), combined with fruity olive oil, garlic, and the parsley garnish, were so incredible I was desperately wishing I had a hunk of crusty bread to sop them up (sadly, I didn’t). This is an OMG dish. Make it, you won’t be sorry.

Spanish Tapas-style Shrimp (Mark Bittman)


1/3 C extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers

About 1-1/2 lb shrimp, 20-30/pound, peeled, rinsed, and dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 t ground cumin

1-1/2 t hot paprika (I used smoked paprika)

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large, broad ovenproof skillet or heatproof baking pan over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden, a few minutes.
  2. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, some salt and pepper, the cumin, and the paprika. Stir to blend and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp once or twice, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly, 5-10 minutes*. Garnish and serve immediately.

*Be careful not to overcook the shrimp - mine only took about 2-3 minutes per side.

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