Chef Joel & Jenn: Spicy Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Tomato Cream Sauce

We've had a little bit of a gap in between our last recipe but we're back with our latest one and yes its another pasta dish. We love pasta what can we say. This latest pasta dish is a shrimp pasta in a garlic tomato cream sauce. Unlike a lot of the pasta we make, this was a cream sauce we made from scratch and it turned out beautifully. 

This was one of those recipes that did require quite a bit of prep. Once we had the shrimps cleaned and de-shelled, the produced chopped/minced and the pans heated. From there it was time to cook the pasta, the shrimp and make the sauce. About thirty minutes later it all came together and we had what turned out to be one of the best meals we've ever made. 

We both love a creamy tomato sauce and this one had just the right amount of spice to make it just the right flavor we were hoping for. When we combined it all together with the shrimp and pasta we were left with one incredible dish. We both completely cleaned our plates and are planning to make this one many more times in the future.


  • 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 meantime, 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 Source: Julia's Album