Shrimp,Tomato and Feta Stew

This simple recipe makes the absolute best of all the ingredients involved. Salty feta complements the sweet, plump, ocean brine-y shrimp, all bound together in a flavorful tomato sauce, seasoned with Mediterranean oregano.

Shrimp, tomato, and feta stew

It’s easy enough that you could serve it on a weeknight, but impressive enough that you could also serve it as a dinner party main. It works well in hot and cold weather, the Greek flavors both refreshing and cozy.

I’ve incorporated a technique below that is great for all pasta dishes -- finishing off the cooking of the pasta with some of the sauce and some pasta-cooking water. The starch in the cooking water helps to bind the sauce to the pasta, giving you a much more cohesive dish than you’d have if you simply spread the sauce on top or mixed it in with the fully-cooked pasta.

Spices used in this recipe

Salt, Kosher
Oregano, Mediterranean
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder


  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Mediterranean Oregano
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Tellicherry Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled, divided
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • ½ lb. fusilli or other short pasta


  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and salt, and saute gently until it is translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring the heat up to medium high. Reduce the wine by half.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, oregano, pepper, and water. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run a potato masher through the sauce, breaking the tomatoes up into small pieces. Alternately, you can do this with your fingers before you put the tomatoes into the pan, but a potato masher is a bit tidier.
  3. Stir in half of the crumbled feta and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. 
  4. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta in well-salted boiling water. Undercook it by 2 minutes, and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Return the drained pasta to its pot, and add 1 cup of the tomato-feta sauce. Simmer the sauce and pasta together for a few minutes, thinning as necessary with splashes of the pasta cooking water. This method helps the sauce bind to the pasta.
  5. Right before you serve the dish, add the shrimp to the remaining tomato-feta sauce and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until shrimp are just tender. Stir in the remaining feta, and serve the shrimp stew over the pasta, garnished with chopped parsley.

Serves 4-6.

Note: To reheat the sauce the next day without getting rubbery shrimp, take the time to pick all the shrimp out of the sauce first. Then, reheat the sauce on the stovetop until it’s bubbling away, turn off the heat, and stir in the shrimp. They’ll heat up in the hot sauce without becoming overcooked.

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