BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

June 4 2012

Shrimp and Sausage Cioppino

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    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
    1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
    1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
    2 cups white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 bay leaf
    1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
    Serving suggestion: crusty sourdough bread

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, garlic, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and break into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover the pan and add the shrimp, beans, basil, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread.