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Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas and orzo

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Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas, orzo rice

Well on my way to use up all 30 pounds of seafood from my freezer, I’ve been cooking seafood like a mad woman lately, and this recipe for spicy curry shrimp pasta did not disappoint. You’ll find a complexity of multiple flavors in the dish: spicy red curry based sauce (a little bit Thai and a little bit Indian), balanced by creamy orzo (pasta shaped like rice) and complemented by simply prepared green snap peas (how complex can you go with snap peas?), topped by perfectly spiced shrimp. While you and I (and my husband) can enjoy the complexity of flavors, I, as a cook, also immensely enjoyed the fact that this creamy shrimp pasta was SO easy to prepare. And by easy I mean 1 hour from start to finish. That’s it! And finally, the colors of the dish (orange-red curry, green snap peas, white orzo, red shrimp) make it so presentable this shrimp would not be embarrassed if it was to be served in a respectable restaurant.

What I also love about this dish is that it came out quite lean in calories: while the sauce is thick and creamy and plentiful in quantity, it only has 1/3 cup heavy cream. To make the spicy shrimp sauce I first sauteed garlic and onions, then made the sauce creamy by adding ONLY 1/3 cup of heavy cream (plus 1/3 cup milk and water) plus spices: red curry, tomato paste, paprika.

Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas, orzo rice

Lately, I am also absolutely in love with orzo, which is pasta that looks like rice. I find that this small-shaped pasta goes perfectly with bite-sized shrimp.


I used raw shrimp, so before preparing this dish, I rinsed the shrimp, removed the shells and deveined it.

Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas, orzo rice

Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas, orzo

Prep time: 60 min
Serves 3 people

Ingredients for shrimp:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 20 shrimp, raw, uncooked, de-veined, without shells
  • 1 teaspoon pinch of paprika
  • salt
  • 2 teaspoon powdered chilli

Ingredients for curry sauce:

  • 5 green onions chopped
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 7 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • paprika

Ingredients for side dishes:

  • 2 cups uncooked fresh snap peas
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt to taste

To cook shrimp and sauce:

1) Heat sesame oil on high heat in a large frying pan until oil sizzles. In a separate bowl, mix all spices together and add shrimp: toss to coat. Cook shrimp on high heat about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp to a plate.

2) To the same pan, add chopped green onions, regular onion, and garlic, cover with lid and cook covered for about 7 minutes on medium or medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. No need to add more oil because onions will release their juices.

3) Add heavy cream, milk, water to the pan with onions and garlic and bring to boil. Add curry paste and tomato paste. Mix until well incorporated and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add paprika at the end if necessary.

To cook side dishes:

1) Bring water to boil in a small pan and cook snap peas for about 10 minutes in boiling water until desired crispiness, drain.

2) Bring water to boil in a separate pan, add orzo and boil for about 9 minutes. Drain, return orzo to pan. Add grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), 2 tablespoons heavy cream, simmer briefly until cheese melts.

To serve, spoon orzo on each plate, top with curry sauce, place snap peas on top and around orzo, then top with shrimp.

How to serve shrimp

To serve: first top orzo with spicy red curry sauce

How to serve shrimp

Then, top spicy curry sauce with green snap peas; also put some snap peas around orzo at the base, too

Spicy curry shrimp pasta: curried tomato sauce, snap peas, orzo rice

Finally top green snap peas with shrimp

More shrimp recipes:



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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Rosa January 28, 2013, 1:03 am

    A beautiful and mouthwatering shrimp dish!



  • FoodNova January 28, 2013, 2:21 am

    amazing dish, we are posting this amazing food in our “Food network” blog. http://www.foodnova.blogspot.com

  • Tash January 28, 2013, 2:59 am

    Ahhh, what a lovely dish! It looks fresh and very tasty indeed. I am always looking for new ways to try curry dishes and I think pairing it with different textures is a great way to do it. 🙂

  • Denise [email protected] Brazil To You January 28, 2013, 7:13 am

    It looks delicious, Julia! Plus, I like the detailed photos on how to pile/assemble the dish in the plate. Great job!

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant January 28, 2013, 8:04 am

    Shrimp and snap peas are two of my favorite things. This looks really good!

  • Laura Dembowski January 28, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Such a beautiful dish! I love curry powder, but have never tried curry paste. I will have to buy some.

  • Suzanne Perazzini January 28, 2013, 4:14 pm

    You have made this dish look lovely – great photos. Shrimps are a particular favourite.

  • [email protected] January 29, 2013, 8:49 pm

    This is my kind of dish Julia! Love shrimp and curry. The snow pictures look so beautiful.

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