The beginning

In the first book of the series, The Shape of Water, we learn that Montalbano’s housekeeper, Adelina, is the mother of an offender who Montalbano “put away.” One of the things she prepares for Montalbano is a dish of boiled shrimp.

Do you have access to fresh shrimp? Good fresh ingredients are a staple of Italian cooking. The most important thing in any Italian recipe is to bring out the best of the best ingredients. So, it is only fitting that we talk about fresh boiled shrimp.

I get my shrimp fresh from the ocean because I live near the Atlantic. If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost by place in a colander and running under cold water until tender.

Dump into boiling water for just a minute or two, until the shrimp are pink. You do not want to overcook shrimp.

I sometimes “cheat” and place shrimp in a circle in the outermost ring of a glass pie plate and microwave for one minute..and a bit more if necessary..literaly by the fifteen seconds. Then I make an American style spicy hot sauce–with horseradish–for them.

I like to think Montalbano likes a spicy sauce too..or perhaps just a squeeze of one of those wonderful Sicilian lemons on the shrimp.

Published by Jil

Joan Leotta is an author and story performer. Her books include a four-book series about strong women, Legacy of Honor, a collection of short stories, Simply a Smile, and a picture book, WHOOSH! for children that stresses the importance of parents, especially Dads.Her second picture book, Summer in a Bowl will be out in September. She’s a passionate shell collector and can often be found stooping over bits of beach near her home in Calabash. Joan is available to speak on writing , grief share or perform at schools, women’s groups, libraries and festivals, You can contact her at or follow her blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.comStoryteller

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