Gratinéed Large Gray Shrimp
This Venetian original combines all things Italian—garlic, cheese, basil, and wine.
6 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
1⁄4 cup finely chopped basil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. grated parmigiano-reggiano
3–4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 large whole shrimp, legs removed, shells on
1⁄2 cup tocai friulano or other dry Friuli white wine
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Tear bread into pieces and put in bowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade, then pulse to coarse crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl and add basil, garlic, and grated cheese. Toss with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. To butterfly shrimp, make a deep incision with the tip of a sharp knife in the back just below the head, and slice down to the tail, cutting through the shell and about halfway through the meat. Spread incision open and flatten shrimp slightly with your fingertips.
3. Stuff each shrimp with some of the reserved bread-crumb mixture, then moisten each with about 1 tsp. wine. Arrange shrimp on a baking sheet and bake in upper third of oven for 10 minutes. Switch oven setting to broil, and broil shrimp until bread crumb mixture is browned, about 5 minutes.