The BEST Shrimp Pasta!
There are many recipes and versions of shrimp pasta but today I am going to share with you a proper Italian shrimp pasta, just like how it’s served in restaurants in Italy.
I have just come back from Italy, traveling from Milan to Lake Como, onto the Ligurian coast and Cinque Terre. It was an amazing trip and delicious nonetheless. Every day I indulged in various kinds of pasta and mouthwatering Italian cuisine.
I spoke to chefs, home cooks and restaurateurs while savoring the scrumptious Italian food and learned so much about Italian pasta and how to make pasta properly.
This easy shrimp pasta recipe is the first recipe I attempted at home after the trip; I was instantly transported back to the Italian riviera, where I had the best seafood and pasta.
The recipe is very easy to make, takes less than 20 minutes. The taste is spot on; this is the BEST pasta I have ever made in my life. You really have to trust me on this and try my recipe!
Tips on How to Cook Shrimp Pasta Like Italians
- Cook the pasta al dente. Al dente in Italy is completely different from al dente in America. You want to under cook the pasta slightly so the pasta has a firm bite. Al dente is indeed better in texture and overall mouthfeel of the pasta.
- Use big shrimp or jumbo prawn if you can. The shrimp imparts a sweet and briny taste to the pasta, making the pasta absolutely delicious.
- DO NOT USE packaged frozen shrimp in a bag. They are mostly tasteless and had been treated with chemicals. Buy fresh shrimp in shells and heads, if you have access to them. I used frozen shrimp in a paper box from Asian stores, imported from Central America. I shelled and deveined the shrimps and butterflied them. They are sweet and briny, very close to the amazing sweet and fresh shrimps found in Italy.
- You may cut the shrimp into big pieces or butterfly the shrimp. I chose to butterfly them as they look pretty.
- Use Campari tomatoes for the juiciness, high sugar level and low acidity. They make the pasta extremely delicious!
Red Sauce (Tomato Sauce)
I personally love the sweet and fresh taste of tomatoes and I love healthy pasta with tomato red sauce. Here are the ingredients to make the red color tomato sauce:
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Minced garlic.
- Ripe and red fresh tomatoes, preferably Campari tomatoes. You want ripe tomatoes as they are juicier and sweeter. The sweetness of the tomatoes will make the pasta sauce so much better.
- Chicken broth or vegetable stock (if you are vegan or vegetarian).
- Chicken bouillon. This is the secret ingredient that chefs used in Italy, to complete the taste of the pasta. I used Knorr Chicken bouillon powder.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Traditional Italian Meal Structure
Italians take their meals very seriously. Traditional Italian meals start with Antipasti (starter or appetizer).
Your main course begins with Primi, which includes various kinds and shapes of pasta, risotto, polenta and gnocchi. The course of meal continues to Secondi, which is a meat or seafood option.
The rest of the meals include Contorni (Side Dishes), Insalata (Salad), Formaggi (Cheese), Dolce (Dessert), Caffe (Coffee) and Digestivo (Alcohol Drinks).
Eating is a serious business in Italy and I absolutely love that. That’s why Italy is my #1 European country. I absolutely love Italy!
What Dishes to Serve with this Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner at home, I recommend the following recipes.
Menu and Meal Ideas
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Italian Shrimp Pasta Recipe
This is a proper Italian Shrimp Pasta recipe, the authentic way Italian home cooks and chefs make shrimp pasta. The pasta is fresh, healthy, with an absolutely mouthwatering homemade tomato sauce.
- 4 oz spaghetti pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 oz Campari tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 4 oz peeled and deveined shrimp or jumbo prawn, butterflied
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to package instruction.
In a skillet or pan on medium-low heat, add the extra virgin olive oil. Saute the garlic until sizzling but not browned. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and chicken bouillon. As soon as it bubbles, add the shrimp. Cook and stir until the shrimps are cooked and the tomatoes break down.
Add the spaghetti, salt and generous dose of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine well. Turn off the heat.
Top the Shrimp Pasta with chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.