Recipe by Virginia Willis
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 cups water
2 cups low-fat 2% milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Tomato Gravy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice, such as San Marzano, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1 pinch ground red pepper
24 large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup loosely packed assorted fresh herbs, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Garnish: shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh herbs


1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water, milk, and salt for grits to a gentle boil. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until mixture is smooth and thick and falls easily from spoon, 25 to 60 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil for gravy over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice and bay leaves. Season with red pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Increase heat to medium-high, and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink and firm, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in herbs. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. When grits have thickened, stir in cheese and butter. To serve, place a heaping spoonful of grits on a plate. Top with shrimp and tomato gravy. Garnish with freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh herbs, if desired. Serve immediately.