Category Archives: Pasta

Shrimp and Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

When summer arrives and I can pick beautifully ripe tomatoes from our garden, I create this fresh, uncooked tomato sauce for pasta dishes.  I let the diced tomatoes and seasonings marinate briefly while I prepare the remainder of the meal.  This releases the juices from the tomatoes and they make their own “sauce” with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  So very good!

This is just one of many, many ways you can use a fresh tomato sauce.  Sometimes we skip the shrimp and just toss the sauce with pasta, and top with grated Parmesan or feta cheese.  Once you get this technique down, you can be very creative!

Fresh Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

Ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced  (I used about 4 medium tomatoes for this dish)

Minced garlic – to your taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I used about 2 tablespoons

Balsamic Vinegar – about 2 teaspoons or to your taste

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper – to your taste

Fresh Basil – a big handful!


Combine all ingredients except the basil in a bowl and let set at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, while you prepare the rest of your meal

A few minutes before serving, chop the basil and toss in with the tomatoes.  (I wait until just before serving to chop the basil.  Fresh basil darkens after it is cut and I like it to be bright green when I serve it. )

To create this dish as pictured in this post…


Fresh Spinach – 4 to 5 ounces

Raw Shrimp – as much as you like

Light Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons or as much as you need to saute

Cooked Pasta – about 8 ounces raw, cooked and drained

Chop about 5 ounces of fresh spinach.


Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute raw shrimp until it just starts to turn pink.  Remove from pan to a bowl.

Add the chopped spinach to the pan and saute until wilted.

Add the shrimp back to the pan along with the cooked pasta.  Heat through.

Place the shrimp, spinach and pasta on a plate and top with the fresh tomato sauce.  Be sure to spoon some of the delicious juices from the bottom of the tomato bowl onto the pasta.  Top with your favorite grated or crumbled cheese.


Shrimp and Tomato Pasta

I took the photos for this dish to send to a friend before I began blogging.  It was pretty good and easy to make, so I am going to try and re-create it for this blog.  In my free-spirited style of cooking, I am sure I just combined ingredients without measuring that evening, but I will try to include some approximate quantities here for those of you who like a bit more specific recipe.  The ingredients are formatted in bold if you want to make a shopping list.

This is a fairly fast-cooking dish, so do all your prep work first.  Assemble all of your ingredients (measured, minced, chopped, etc.)  before you fire up the stove under the skillet.  For perfect timing on the pasta, have a large pot of water simmering on the stove.  After you have simmered the tomato sauce for about 5 minutes, quickly bring the pot of water to a boil and add the spaghetti.   It should be done about the same time as the finished sauce.

The basic idea for the dish was….

Sauteed shrimp and mushrooms in a quick tomato sauce flavored with basil and Kalamata olives, tossed with thin spaghetti and topped with feta cheese.

And this is (pretty much…) how I did it 🙂

Saute raw peeled and de-veined shrimp (about one pound) in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet until they just turn pink (do not overcook!).  Remove from pan.  Saute sliced baby bella mushrooms (probably used 8 ounces, since that is the size package  of sliced mushrooms I most often see), adding more olive oil as necessary.  Remove from pan.

Add a small amount (1/3 cup) of white wine or low sodium chicken broth to the hot pan and scrape up any browned bits of mushroom.  Add minced garlic (a clove or two) and shallots (approximately one tablespoon) or red onion and cook for a minute or two to reduce the liquid – taking care to not burn or scorch the garlic (Looking at the seasonings in the bowls in the photo, I probably used Litehouse brand freeze-dried garlic and red onions).

Add petite diced tomatoes (I probably used 2 cups or so – good quality from a can – or fresh if you have really ripe tomatoes), basil (I would have used either fresh chopped basil or Litehouse brand freeze-dried basil) and Kalamata olives (maybe 1/3 cup or so).  I can tell from the spice bowls photo that I added a dried, crushed cayenne pepper for some heat – that is completely optional, but oh so good.  Let simmer approximately 10 minutes so it thickens up a bit.

Add the shrimp and mushrooms and simmer another three minutes or so to blend the flavors.

Toss with cooked thin spaghetti and top with crumbled feta cheese. (Parmesan is a good substitute if you do not like feta cheese.)

Serve immediately.