Cook the Book: Shrimp in Crazy Water, Mario Batali's Last Supper

My Last Supper takes the old "last bite on earth" game to the next level by asking that question of 50 of the world's best-known and most-loved chefs. Though beautifully photographed and almost more of a coffee-table book in size and format, there are some serious recipes in here to accompany the memorable visuals and fun interviews. As this week's featured Cook the Book entry, we'll be highlighting a recipe a day from it. Today's is from Mario Batali, who describes his last meal as a "seafood extravaganza" that would end with this dish, gamberoni all'acqua pazza, or "shrimp in crazy water."

As is always the case with our Cook the Books, we're giving away a number of them this week. Enter to win My Last Supper »

Cook the Book: Shrimp in Crazy Water, Mario Batali's Last Supper

About This Recipe



  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped into 1/2-inch (1-cm) dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh hot chiles
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped into 1/2-inch (1-cm) dice, fronds reserved
  • 1 twenty-eight-ounce (828-ml) can tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juice
  • 2 cups (475 ml) dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) seawater (or 1/2 cup [120 ml] water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled, head and tail on
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1

    In a 6-quart (5 1/2-liter) soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until smoking. Add to it the onion, garlic, chiles, and diced fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and light-golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. 2

  3. 3

    Pour into a soup tureen; garnish with fennel fronds. Serve.


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