Shrimp with Spicy Mushroom Sauce


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
5 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
2 pounds medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Spicy Mushroom Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, divided 
1/4 pound slab bacon, with the rind removed, cut in 1/4-inch dice (or regular bacon, roughly chopped)
5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms: shiitake, white button or crimini
31/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup white wine
11/2 cups tomato sauce
11/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons softened butter mixed with 2 tablespoons flour to form a soft paste (optional)


Serves 4-6

Prepare the Spicy Mushroom Sauce and keep warm.

In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together the flour, paprika, and optional salt and pepper. Heat the extra-light olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the shrimp in the seasoned flour mixture; shake off the excess. Fry in the hot oil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the shrimp are crisp and golden brown but not completely cooked through. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Bring the Spicy Mushroom Sauce to a simmer. Add the shrimp to the simmering sauce and cook for 3 more minutes. Serve on a tray and sprinkle with the grated Romano cheese and the optional parsley.

Spicy Mushroom Sauce:

In a large sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of the extra-light olive oil and cook the bacon over medium heat until it is nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a dish lined with a paper towel and

set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes, and cook over medium-high heat until the garlic begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and parsley, and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring well. Add the white wine, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil over high heat, and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add

the cooked bacon and cook for 2 more minutes. If you like the sauce thicker, bring it back to a boil and add the butter-flour paste, 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking well and waiting 1 minute before adding more of the paste. Continue this process until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. You do not need to use all of the butter-flour paste.

Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.