Shrimp Arrabbiata
From Gabardine Chef Sean Usher

This popular dish has a kick—Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian—but your dinner party guests will only be gracious when they have a taste.


1lb head-on shrimp

3 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves garlic, sliced 

1 medium sized onion, diced 

2 red finger chillies, stems and seeds removed and finely diced 

400g canned diced San Marzano tomatoes 

4 or 5 large basil leaves, thinly cut 

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp olive oil



1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 


Carefully peel off shell and devein shrimp without removing head. Heat oil in sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and chillies and cook until soft. Add diced tomatoes and continue to cook until juice is released from tomatoes and thickened slightly (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in basil. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times. Remove from processor and let cool completely. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once mixture is cooled, place in a bowl with shrimp and toss to coat. Scoop the tomato mixture into the bottom of a shallow oven safe dish. Place shrimp on top of tomato mixture. (Dish should be large enough that the shrimp can lay in a flat layer evenly over the tomatoes without too much space in between). Drizzle the top with olive oil and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake in oven until shrimp are fully cooked (approximately 8-10 minutes). To serve, scoop out shrimp and spoon the tomato mixture over the top.


Sean Usher was born and raised in Toronto. He fell in love with cooking after discovering Emeril Lagasse on the food network at the age of ten. He attended culinary school at George Brown College and Stratford Chefs School. Throughout his eight years in the industry, Sean has worked in many Toronto establishments. You can currently find him at The Gabardine in Toronto's downtown core. 


Bite is a biweekly feature on, and is inspired by the Venetian tradition of serving cicchetti—small dishes to snack on with wine—at local bàcari