Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper (if using), and garlic and cook until tender, 5 - 8 minutes.
½ cup butter, 1 ½ cups onion, 1 ½ cups celery, 1 tablespoon garlic
Add the tomato paste, paprika, and Italian Seasoning and cook an additional 3 minutes.
¼ cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
Add chicken stock, tomato juice, tomatoes, Worchestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and white pepper and stir. I like to mash up the tomatoes a little.
1 ½ cups chicken stock, 1 cup tomato juice, 1 cup diced tomatoes, 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, pinch cayenne pepper, pinch white pepper
Bring this mixture to a boil, then simmer for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
While the mixture is simmering, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch, 4 tablespoons water
Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the tomato sauce and let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly.
Now add the shrimp and fresh parsley. Cook for 5 - 8 more minutes, until the shrimp are no longer translucent.
3 pounds raw shrimp, ¼ cup fresh parsley
Do not overcook the shrimp. Serve with more fresh parsley and white rice. Add more salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. (My husband also likes to add a little Tabasco Sauce.)
4 cups cooked white rice, Tabasco Sauce