Cooking Shrimp in Pasta Sauce: A Flavorful Delight

Easy 30-minute meal! This shrimp in red sauce is not only quick to make, but is infused with the flavors of a homemade tomato sauce and is fantastic served with pasta, rice or zucchini noodles.

Are you looking for a quick and delicious seafood dish to add to your repertoire? Look no further than shrimp cooked in a delectable pasta sauce. This easy-to-make meal takes just 30 minutes and will leave your taste buds tingling with delight. Whether served with pasta, rice, or zucchini noodles, this shrimp in red sauce is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.

The Magic of Shrimp in Red Sauce

When it comes to weeknight meals, simplicity and flavor are key. The combination of a rich marinara sauce and succulent seared shrimp creates a match made in culinary heaven. This versatile recipe allows for endless variations, whether it’s adding feta cheese and Kalamata olives for a Mediterranean twist or infusing the sauce with North African spices for a bold and exotic flavor profile. One of the secrets to this dish’s appeal lies in the use of ground coriander, sweet paprika, and cumin, which adds depth and complexity to the tomato sauce.

Shrimp in a homemade tomato sauce, in a blue ceramic skillet.

Essential Ingredients

To create this mouthwatering shrimp in red sauce, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

  • Shrimp: Opt for large, raw shrimp for the best results. Ensure they are peeled and the tails are removed.
  • Tomatoes: Choose high-quality canned crushed tomatoes to form the base of the sauce. The superior flavor will truly make a difference.
  • Aromatics: Half of a yellow onion and a few cloves of garlic will infuse the sauce with aromatic goodness.
  • Olive oil: Use it to coat the shrimp and sauté the onion and garlic.
  • Seasoning: The classic combination of dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper will elevate the flavors to new heights.
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Ingredients for shrimp in tomato sauce recipe, all on baking sheet.

Unveiling the Tomato Sauce

The secret to a truly outstanding red sauce lies in the quality of the tomatoes. Investing in good-quality canned crushed tomatoes will elevate the taste, eliminating the need for added sugar. SMT San Marzano Style Tomatoes, easily found in well-stocked grocery stores, are an excellent choice. Although not genuine San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, they provide a close approximation that will satisfy discerning palates. For a chunkier sauce, consider using a combination of crushed and diced tomatoes, or start with whole canned tomatoes and break them up as the sauce simmers.

Raw shrimp in glass bowl and cooked shrimp in large skillet.

The Simple Preparation Process

Preparing this savory dish is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Begin by seasoning the peeled shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Sear the shrimp in a hot skillet, ensuring they cook for approximately one minute on each side. If necessary, cook them in batches to maintain a single layer. Be vigilant as they cook rapidly.
  3. For the tomato sauce, sauté onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, cooking for an additional minute. Carefully stir in the crushed tomatoes and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to slightly thicken. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Large skillet with homemade tomato sauce and cooked shrimp.

Perfect Timing for Cooking Shrimp

When it comes to cooking shrimp, attentiveness is crucial. Large shrimp cook rapidly in a hot pan, requiring just a minute on each side. It’s crucial not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery. A helpful tip is to keep an eye on the slit in the back of the shrimp where it was deveined. As soon as the flesh in that area turns opaque, the shrimp are ready to be savored.

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Serving Suggestions

While tossing the shrimp and tomato sauce with pasta is the classic choice, there are numerous other delectable options:

  • Serve over rice for a hearty and satisfying meal.
  • Accompany the dish with quinoa for a healthy and protein-packed twist.
  • Embrace the low-carb trend by mixing the sauce with cauliflower rice.
  • For a lighter alternative, toss the sauce with lightly sautéed or raw zucchini noodles.

Italian shrimp dinner in skillet, with bowls in background.

Enhance your dining experience by pairing this flavorful dish with a refreshing salad, such as a cauliflower salad, chopped broccoli salad, or a Mediterranean cucumber salad.

Answering Your Questions

Can this be made ahead of time? While the shrimp are best when served fresh, the tomato sauce can be prepared in advance. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days and reheat it in a skillet before adding the freshly cooked shrimp and parsley.

How do I reheat the leftovers? While reheating marinara sauce is a breeze, shrimp can become tough and rubbery if overheated. To avoid this, gently reheat leftovers in a skillet over medium-low to medium heat until the shrimp are just heated through. Avoid using the microwave.

Can I use precooked shrimp? For the best results, it’s recommended to use raw shrimp. They cook quickly and allow for proper seasoning. Precooked shrimp, on the other hand, are better suited for appetizers and require reheating, which can result in overcooked shrimp.

For a printable version of this recipe, visit the Hook’d Up Bar and Grill website.

Discover the delightful combination of shrimp and pasta sauce to create a quick and flavorful meal that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. With a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own home. Bon appétit!

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