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Spicy Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce

Italian-style pasta with spicy shrimp smothered in a homemade garlic tomato cream sauce.  Easy shrimp pasta recipe that you can make at home any time with easy ingredients!  

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 543 kcal
Author Julia


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp without shells, and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cube chicken bullion (I used Knorr)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten free version, use brown rice penne)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook on one side for about 1 minute, until shrimp turns pink on that side. While it cooks, sprinkle the top of shrimp with crushed red pepper, paprika and salt to cover every single shrimp. Make sure not to crowd the shrimp in the skillet, otherwise moisture will form and shrimp won't sear right. And, don't skimp on spices. Using spatula turn shrimp over to the other side and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  2. Remove shrimp to a plate, being careful to leave all the oil in the skillet.
  3. To the same skillet, add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook on medium high heat in the olive oil that will have a nice reddish color from paprika and crushed red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, occasionally stirring, until onions soften.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken bullion cube dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water. Add basil and oregano, mix, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, mixing occasionally and crushing all tomatoes into very small bites, until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with more red pepper and salt, if needed. In the end, while on simmer, add heavy cream, mix it in, and immediately remove from heat.
  5. In the mean time, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta al dente according to the package instructions.  Drain. 

  6. Add back the cooked shrimp and cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Mix everything well to combine. Reheat on low simmer, if needed. Do not bring to boil or high heat as it might affect the sauce texture. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

  7. When serving, I like to sprinkle the top of pasta with just a touch of crushed red pepper.

Recipe Notes

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Nutrition Facts
Spicy Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 543 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 326mg109%
Sodium 1205mg52%
Potassium 646mg18%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 825IU17%
Vitamin C 18.7mg23%
Calcium 249mg25%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.