On Dec. 24, la vigilia di Natale, Guissepe Scarlata's family will sit down in their home in Trapani to a seven course fish feast: marinated octopus and squid salad, smoked swordfish and thin slices of cured tuna. And that's just for starters. Join us for Christmas Eve in Sicily.
Makes 4-6 appetizer servings. Prep 15 minutes, cook 3 minutes
Process the bread in a food processor bowl to make medium-fine crumbs (about 1/3 cup). Transfer to a clean baking sheet. Pulse the pistachios in the same food processor bowl until medium fine; add to the breadcrumbs. Bake the crumb mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until dry to the touch but not browned.
In a small bowl, combine the dry crumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the salt, and black pepper (if using) to taste. Stir until the crumbs are moistened. Dredge the shrimp in the crumbs, pressing with your fingers to make them adhere. There should be a light coating of crumbs, with some of the shrimp showing through. Arrange the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet.
Cook shrimp on a middle rack until the crust is lightly browned and the shrimp turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.
Notes: (1) If you like, scrape up the browned bits that are inevitably left behind on the baking sheet and sprinkle over the cooked shrimp. The presentation is more rustic, but none of the delicious crumbs will go to waste. (2) Alternatively, the shrimp can be grilled over a medium-hot fire. To avoid overcooking and aid in turning the shrimp, thread them onto skewers.