Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp
Meet your new favorite pasta recipe! Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp is the perfect easy pasta dinner recipe. This dish comes together with just 7 simple ingredients and is on your table in 30 minutes or less. Made with shrimp, angel hair pasta, parmesan cheese, ripe tomatoes and basil, Pasta Pomodoro tastes totally fresh, and is perfect for date night or family dinner!
My family can’t get enough of this classic Italian favorite, Pasta Pomodoro! We often say that we could survive eating this everyday! 😉 Fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil make this a perfect last minute dish because it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare this meal.
We love this served with shrimp, but we also enjoy mixing it up and substituting chicken or veggies for the shrimp. Feel free to use whatever it is that you are in the mood for and have available in your kitchen. Add some parmesan cheese and fresh basil, then serve and wait for the rave reviews to start rolling in!
What is Pasta Pomodoro?
“Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian, and that’s exactly what this is — a fresh tomato sauce served over angel hair pasta. Pomodoro sauce is simple and light. The tomato-based pasta sauce is made from a combination of fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil.
Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, you’ll want to use only the best quality ingredients for amazing taste. I highly suggest tomatoes from a garden or farmer’s market, fresh basil and a high quality parmesan cheese.
Pomodoro vs. Marinara
The ingredients for Pomodoro sauce and marinara sauce are typically about the same. However, the consistency is different. Pomodoro is thick and smooth and marinara is runnier and chunky. If you’re looking for a tasty marinara sauce, be sure to check out my homemade marinara sauce.
Pasta Pomodoro Ingredients
This dish is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you’ll be needing:
- Shrimp. Shrimp cooks up so quickly which makes this a great under 30 minute meal option. If you can’t buy fresh shrimp in your area you can buy frozen raw shrimp and thaw it by placing in a bowl of running water for a few minutes.
- Olive oil. A little bit of fat goes a long way in this sauce.
- Fresh tomatoes. If you can get your hands on fresh garden tomatoes, they will give this sauce amazing flavor. However, if tomatoes are not in season, try canned, crushed San Marzano tomatoes.
- Garlic. I love the delicious garlic flavor in this sauce. You can use finely minced or pressed garlic. And I highly recommend using fresh garlic, rather than the jarred kind.
- Basil. Fresh basil leaves are a must!
- Angel hair pasta. We love to use thin, angel hair spaghetti as our pasta of choice for this meal, but any type of pasta will work.
- Parmesan cheese. I love to use freshly grated parmesan cheese! You can find the highest quality blocks of Parmesan cheese in the speciality cheese area in most grocery stores.
- Salt & pepper. Once the sauce is cooked, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
How to Make Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp
Making homemade pasta Pomodoro honestly couldn’t be easier! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil while you are chopping the tomatoes.
- In a large skillet, cook shrimp until it has turned pink, about 1 – 2 minutes per side; remove shrimp and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet and when oil is hot, add chopped tomatoes, then salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes and then add chopped garlic. Cook 2 – 3 minutes more and until the tomatoes get soft and garlic is fragrant.
- Add angel hair pasta to the boiling water and cook per box instructions (typically 3-4 minutes).
- While the pasta cooks, add shrimp back into the skillet along with fresh chopped basil and a small amount of olive oil. Stir well to combine and add more salt, if needed.
- Add cooked pasta into the skillet to combine with the tomatoes, shrimp and basil. Stir to fully combined. If you want the sauce to be more moist, add some of the pasta water.
- Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil and enjoy!
- I highly recommend using freshly grated Parmesan cheese for this recipe. Pre-grated cheese often contains stabilizers and anti caking agents and does not melt as well. Also, a high quality Parmesan cheese will add such wonderful flavor to this pasta dish. I typically shop the speciality cheese counter of my local grocery store.
- If using canned tomatoes, use 1 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes and puree them in a food processor or blender.
- For just a little kick of heat, add about 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Once prepared, this pasta will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. To reheat the pasta, add it to the stove with a splash of olive oil or broth and heat until warm.
- This sauce can be frozen! If you are someone who likes to meal prep, you can make a large batch and put it into freezer safe containers or baggies and freeze for 3 months. Be sure the sauce has completely cooled before sealing the container.
Pasta Pomodoro Variations
This pasta meal is delicious as-is, but feel free to change things up to customize it to your family’s preferences and what you have available.
- Pasta. Pasta Pomodoro usually uses long spaghetti, like angel hair pasta. You can use any pasta shape you like, though. Rigatoni, rotini or penne pasta would all be great choices.
- Protein. Instead of using shrimp, try this with chicken, meatballs or Italian sausage.
- Vegetables. Instead of or in addition to an added protein, add sautéed veggies such as mushrooms, zucchini, artichokes or eggplant.
This pasta dish is great on it’s on, but you can also serve it with a variety of side dishes! We love it served with my favorite Italian salad and crusty garlic bread!
More Italian Favorites to Try
If you try this Pasta Pomodoro recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp is the perfect easy pasta dinner recipe. This dish comes together with simple ingredients, fresh flavor, and is super quick. Made with shrimp, angel hair pasta, parmesan cheese, ripe tomatoes and basil, Pasta Pomodoro tastes amazing, and is perfect for date night or family dinner!
- 1 pound shrimp (deveined, peeled and tails removed)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 4-5 large tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (if using smaller tomatoes such as Roma increase to 6-7)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 12-16 ounces angel hair pasta (or other long pasta)
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil while you are chopping the tomatoes. Don’t add the angel hair pasta yet, it cooks quickly (usually 3-4 minutes) so you will want to add it to the boiling water after you start cooking the tomatoes.
In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook shrimp until it has turned pink, about 1 – 2 minutes per side. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
Drain any liquid from the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped tomatoes, then salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes and then add chopped garlic. Cook 2 – 3 minutes more and until the tomatoes get soft and garlic is fragrant.
Add angel hair pasta to the boiling water and cook per box instructions (typically 3-4 minutes).
While the pasta is cooking, put the shrimp back into the skillet, add the freshly chopped basil and a small amount of olive oil to taste (1-2 tsp is what I use). Stirring well to combine and bring out the flavor of the basil. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, if you like a little kick of heat.
Drain pasta (reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water). Add pasta into the skillet to combine with the tomatoes, shrimp and basil. Stir to fully combined. If you want the sauce to be more moist, add some of the pasta water, as desired.
Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil and enjoy!
If you are using a pasta that requires a longer cooking time, such as spaghetti or fettuccine, you might need to start cooking the pasta a little earlier in the cooking process. Check the cooking time on the box and adjust accordingly.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.