Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Tomato Pasta

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

This light, spicy, straight-forward recipe most likely originated in Southern Italy around Naples.  Southern Italy is known for slightly more complex flavors than other regions, such as Bologna, which revolves around butter, parmigiano, and meat.  I wanted a dish with an olive oil-based sauce so I could “feature” the tomatoes that finally ripened on our tomato plants.  The only change I may make next time is a little of white wine to enhance the flavors a bit, but it definitely was not lacking without it, made apparent by the lack of leftovers for lunch the next day.


2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound spaghetti

1/2 pound shelled and de-veined shrimp

4 tomatoes (to remove the seeds and excess water) OR 1/2 pint grape tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Add 1 T of olive oil to a small skillet and toss in the bread crumbs over medium heat, stir to make sure they down burn, and remove when golden brown (2-3 min).  Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, boil salted water and cook the pasta al dente.  Drain the water, and reserve ½ a cup of the cooking water.  (This is important, when you add this reserved water to your saute the starches will help form the sauce.)

3. While your pasta is cooking, add remaining olive oil to a deep skillet on medium-high heat.  Add shrimp, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper, reserved cooking water, and tomatoes.  For the tomatoes, when you cut them, squeeze them to remove as much of the watery pulp as possible.  (This weakens your sauce.)

4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the pasta.  Lightly toss the mix, and when the shrimp are done and the sauce is slightly thickened, transfer to bowls and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top to serve.

Note: This dish paired well with a strawberry spinach salad.


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