If there is a food destined to make a hit ALWAYS, then Shrimp Spaghetti will definitely be it! I mean who doesn't like shrimps, or spaghetti as a matter of fact? Huh? Yeap, I thought so...
Now as for this Greek-style Shrimp Spaghetti in fresh tomato sauce, all I can say is that it tastes divine!
It is made using only fresh ingredients (including the shrimps). No worries if you can't find fresh shrimps though, as what matters the most is for the shrimps to be whole than being fresh or frozen.
And that's because all that sweet shrimpy-flavor or "essence" of the shrimp is locked inside its head. Which makes the sauce 1000 times more yummy when cooking shrimps with their heads on.
Another thing that makes this shrimp spaghetti truly stand out, is the fresh tomato sauce. That may sound intimidating but it's really simple and effortless to make. Since it doesn't require any blanching, skinning, or seeding the tomatoes.
How To Make The Fresh Tomato Sauce
To make the sauce, you first saute some onion, garlic, and bell pepper (all finely chopped) until softened. Add the tomatoes (finely chopped as well) a pinch of salt (to help the tomatoes release their juices), and a pinch of sugar (to take away the sourness).
Then cook them until they drain all their juices and turn into a thick sauce while stirring with a wooden spoon. You then add some water and simmer for a few minutes.
Traditionally when we make this shrimp pasta dish in Greece we add a drop of ouzo when sauteing the shrimp. But since ouzo can be a bit too much, especially if you aren't used to its taste (I myself aren't really a fan), I left it out of this recipe.
If you want to try it though you can do so by adding a drop, right on the shrimp when you saute them and wait until it evaporates.
What I like to add instead of ouzo when making spaghetti with shrimps, is a drop of brandy. It has a nice sweet flavor that truly enhances the flavor of the shrimp without covering their taste.
You can either light the alcohol on fire or leave as is until it completely evaporates.
Shrimp Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce
- 10 medium-sized whole shrimps fresh or frozen - about 250 grams / 9oz
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- ½ green bell pepper finely diced
- 2 small garlic cloves chopped
- 2 large very ripe tomatoes finely chopped
- a handful of fresh parsley chopped
- 250 grams / 9 oz spaghetti
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Optional: brandy
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions and set aside.
- If using frozen shrimp, unfreeze them by dipping them in a bowl with cold water.
- Prepare the shrimps by removing their shells leaving only one shell next to their head and one shell at their tail to hold them in place. Cut their mustaches with a scissor. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.
- Cook the shrimps for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and set aside. OPTIONAL: You may add a drop of brandy, or ouzo to the shrimps at this point, and wait until it evaporates or light it on fire.
- In the same skillet add the onion, garlic, and peppers and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook while stirring occasionally until thick sauce forms. Takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Add a splash of water and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Taste the sauce to see if it needs any more salt and pepper.
- Add the fresh parsley and shrimps in the sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and cook for a minute more. Remove from heat and serve!