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Shrimp, Tomato & Basil Pasta

August 14, 2009

Last night’s dinner party was a success! I have to admit, I have never cooked for 7 people before and the thought intimidated me at first, but after some planning, I created this simple menu that will surely appease everyone’s taste. I based my menu around my friend who is a vegetarian, but actually served as a great meal planning tip on a budget. Since there was no meat involved, besides shrimp, this meal was affordable and tasty at the same time. You really can’t go wrong with a big pot of pasta, but this wasn’t your traditional marinara sauce piled on top of a plate of noodles. I spiced up the sauce using some fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and a can of diced tomatoes. This was better than any jar of pre-made pasta sauce I have ever used and tasted so fresh. The pasta and sauce didn’t take long to cook, leaving me more time to prepare my other dishes, Roasted stuffed portobello mushrooms and a simple salad with Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette.

Shrimp, Tomato & Basil Pasta

Serves 4

  • 1.5 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound dry pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 1.5 cups packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 8 kalamata olives, chopped finely


1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 4 teaspoons of oil and garlic over high heat. Add shrimp and cook until opaque throughout, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a howl

2. Make the sauce: To the same skillet, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add canned tomatoes and their juice, along with 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, until tomatoes have softened and are saucy, about 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat; stir in the cherry tomatoes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Add the tomato sauce, shrimp and basil; season with salt and pepper, and toss. Serves immediately, garnished with basil leaves and kalamata olives.

Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes 1 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 small garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce


Combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard and garlic in a blender, a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a medium bowl. Blend, shake or whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.



Sous Chef B

Sous Chef B



One Comment leave one →
  1. August 16, 2009 3:58 pm

    oh man that looks so good!!!

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