Chef Joel & Jenn: Tuscan Shrimp Penne

The last couple of months have been quite the busy months for Jenn and I. It's hard to imagine that in a mere week we will be moving back to Newport Beach after spending two years in a high-rise. Before our apartment becomes a jungle of boxes we decided to do one final Chef Joel & Jenn, Parmesan Shrimp Pasta. I actually tried to do this a week back but Whole Food was out of fresh shrimp and only had pre-cooked. Luckily this week they were back in stock and ready for our pasta. 

The recipe itself was pretty straightforward. Cook the penne based on the box, while that's going I heated up the butter in a pan and cooked the garlic and then added the shrimp. That only took a couple of minutes and the shrimp were done. From there we added in the freshly chopped tomatoes, heavy cream, and pasta water and made the sauce. Once that all combined nicely put the shrimp and pasta all together and like that, dinner was served. We did decide against adding in their suggested spinach as neither of us are fans of it in our pasta. 

It turned out to be one of the best recipes we've done in a long, long time. It could easily be done during the week and is one of the few "Chef Joel & Jenn's" that we both absolutely loved. It was super simple to make, the fresh ingredients helped, and we were left with what I thought was one of our best dinners to date. It revitalized our love for trying new recipes and hopefully, we can continue trying new recipes once we're settled into to our new digs. 



  • 12 oz. penne
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. baby spinach
  • 1 c. crushed or diced canned tomatoes
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish


  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook penne until al dente. Drain, returning 1/2 cup pasta water, and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp is pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add parsley and combine. Set shrimp aside on a plate (keep juices in skillet).
  • To skillet add spinach and season with salt. Let wilt, 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, heavy cream, 1/4 pasta water, and Parmesan and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cooked penne and stir until combined. (If you want it more saucy, add remaining 1/4 cup pasta water.)
  • Garnish with Parm and serve.

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