Soft Polenta with Baby Shrimps

This is such an easy dish. I call it speedy (yes, you can make it in under 5 minutes!) comfort food. It tastes amazing, it’s incredibly nourishing,  packed with a great balance of protein, fats and sustaining carbohydrate and is perfect for training. It tastes so good, I’m just as happy cooking this up for a post-match Saturday lunch as I am for a dinner party starter. It’s based on a dish I came across on a visit to Venice – schie con polenta – made with baby shrimps from the Venice lagoon, sauteed with garlic and herbs and served on a bed of soft polenta. I reckon the best alternative to these Venetian shrimps are the little vacuum packs of brown shrimps, available in most supermarkets and fishmongers. If you haven’t cooked soft polenta before, it takes literally 1 minute to cook. Perfect for time-pressed athletes and their families!


Serves 4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced finely
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 400g baby shrimps
  • splash of white wine
  • 400g polenta (instant)
  • extra virgin olive oil to serve
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Gently sauté the garlic and the rosemary in the olive oil for a minute or two.
  2. Add the shrimps and a splash of wine and warm through – if you are using uncooked shrimps, cook them until they turn pink.
  3. Cook the polenta according to pack instructions for soft polenta. Remember to use a large pan and a long spoon as the polenta will spit out at you. The polenta should be the consistency of semolina, or porridge.
  4. Add a good glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper to the polenta and spoon onto individual plates.
  5. Spoon the shrimp, garlic and rosemarymix on top of the polenta, drizzle with more olive oil and serve immediately.
  6. Accompany with a crisp, green salad.

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