Citizens, gamberi oreganata is one of THE classic Italian-American dishes – updated by me to include some gourmet touches (including a Chinese technique to make the cooked shrimp crunchy) and to emphasize the shrimp themselves. The breading is light, redolent of herbs and lemon with a gentle touch of spice.
All too often, Italian restaurants serve oreganata dishes on sizzling platters, reeking of burnt garlic, covered with greasy bread crumbs, and overwhelmed with herbs. Not only is this disgusting, it does a tremendous disservice to the noble origins and delicious possibilities inherent in this dish when it is properly made!
I properly make oreganata – and now, so will you! It’s simple, delicious and well – worth your time to make properly. 🙂
The origins of this dish are murky, but assuredly derive from the clam dish of the same name. Clams Oreganata is an Italian-American seafood dish served most commonly as an appetizer. The dish consists of a number of clams (usually six or twelve) that are topped with bread crumbs (usually moistened with olive oil or butter), oregano and sometimes other ingredients, and baked.
Lemons are often included so that the orderer may squeeze the lemon juice onto the clams. The name comes from the addition of oregano to the bread crumbs. At some point, I hope you get to try this recipe at a restaurant in NYC that knows how to make it properly – my go-to is the fabulous Il Mulino at its original location.
For over thirty years, this flagship restaurant in Greenwich Village remains top rated in New York’s elite dining scene. With an emphasis on authentic preparations from the Abruzzo, Italy, Il Mulino New York delivers expertly crafted dishes with exemplary service in its original home at West 3rd Street. Enjoy some oreganata dishes there at your earliest opportunity, Citizens!
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