Gamberi all’acqua pazza – Prawns in “crazy water”

Gamberi all’acqua pazza – Prawns in “crazy water”

In Italian this dish is pronounced gamberoni all’acqua pazza. Originated from Naples, from the days the fishermen would bring home their catch.  Traditionally  made by poaching fish, this one is made with shrimp. Adapted from Fresh Fish by Jenifer Trainer Thompson.

Shrimp in Crazy Water

  • Servings: 4


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced

  • 1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced

  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  •  1/2 cup water with 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 chopped parsley

  • 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and fennel. Sauté until golden, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the tomatoes and their juice, wine, salt water, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

  3. Add parsley, olives, cayenne, and shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is pink, about 5 minutes.

  4. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.


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