Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti with Herbed Tomatoes

I’m pretty sure that I was partly Italian in my previous life. Yes, in fact, I love pasta and anything Italian pretty much. So this spicy shrimp spaghetti recipe is one of my favorites. Although it’s good for four people, it can be a quick meal for two + perfect for leftovers next day. Seriously, who doesn’t like not having to cook the next day?

Another great thing about this spicy shrimp pasta is you can serve it family-style with a side of green salad. That’s the way we do it in our home – big meal, big fun!

All of the ingredients are simple and easy to find. I prefer buying the shell-on but deveined large shrimp. Why? It’s because the shell protects the meat from being mushed. I really don’t mind peeling it which takes only five minutes.

As for the sauce, it’s simply fresh garlic and two cans of herbed tomatoes. The canned tomatoes here already comes flavored with oregano, basil and garlic. It certainly gives the sauce a big, robust flavor. For a nice kick, I add red pepper flakes. Of course, you can use more or less pepper flakes depending on how spicy you want it to be.

Did you know that the Italians use canned tomatoes a lot in their sauces? In fact, when I was in Italy, I’ve seen how they even can their own tomatoes every summer so they have enough to last through winter and spring. Sometimes they add fresh basil leaves, garlic or oregano with the tomatoes. My cousin Cora, who lives in Tuscany, cans her own tomatoes too.

This delicious spicy shrimp spaghetti is definitely one of my go-to meals when I crave for comfort food. It’s so easy to make and really fills you up. Oh, and serve it with a nice cold Pinot Grigio or Savignon Blanc, it’s a match made in heaven.

Spicy Shrimp Spaghetti

Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ¾ lb spaghetti pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cans 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes more or less to taste
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese


  • Boil water in a large pot on high heat for pasta. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp.olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Let cook for 6-7 seconds. Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, turning over once to cook the other side. Transfer shrimp onto a plate. Add canned tomatoes into the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.
  • At the last 10 minutes of simmering the tomatoes, drop the spaghetti in boiling water with some salt. Immediately mix it around to prevent sticking. Let cook for 11 minutes. Drain well.
  • Immediately add pasta into the simmering tomatoes and mix it in. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Top with chopped parsley. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese.
Author: Elizabeth Segal
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
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