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This blackened shrimp pasta is made with an easy, homemade spicy tomato sauce, pasta and spiced shrimp. Perfect for date night!
We’ve had quite a treat this winter.
A few months ago, our monthly seafood delivery box from Sitka Salmon Shares included Alaska spot prawns.
So far, we’ve enjoyed spot prawns in lemon shrimp risotto and a seafood boil for two, and I used the shells and roe to make several batches of shrimp stock.
But the more I thought about shrimp, the more I wanted shrimp pasta.
This blackened shrimp pasta is made with shrimp cooked in blackening seasoning, homemade pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles.
If you like to meal plan, you can make the pasta sauce ahead of time and the rest of the meal comes together quickly.
Want more shrimp in your life? Try making shrimp fra Diavolo, blackened shrimp and grits, kimchi seafood soup and shrimp tacos.
What Size Shrimp Should I Use?
Use whatever size you have on hand or prefer. The shrimp size is totally up to you.
If possible, use raw (not pre-cooked) shrimp. The flavor will be better.
Want help shopping for shrimp? Check out my guide for buying shrimp and learn more about wild shrimp vs. farmed shrimp.
How to Make the Pasta Sauce
Start with a large, heavy pan. I use this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
Add oil, a diced onion and some red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook until the onions soften.
Next, add tomatoes, water and dried herbs.
Both fresh and canned tomatoes will work well. I like to use fire-roasted tomatoes that I froze last summer.
Simmer the tomatoes until they’re cooked down and most of the water has evaporated.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
If you’re making the sauce ahead of time, make sure to check the recipe card notes for fridge and freezer preservation methods.
To serve the sauce right away, toss it with spaghetti noodles.
Want more homemade pasta sauce ideas? Try making a classic Italian marinara, fra Diavolo sauce, red wine pasta sauce, acorn squash pasta sauce and yellow tomato sauce.
What Spices Do I Need for Blackening Seasoning?
In this recipe, you’ll want smoked paprika, dried oregano, and (optionally) cayenne.
I usually add garlic powder to my blackening seasoning, but skipped it here since there’s lots of garlic in the pasta sauce.
If you like the blackening flavor, check out this blackened halibut with spicy yogurt sauce or blackened cod with avocado sauce!
How to Cook the Blackened Shrimp
Toss the shrimp in blackening seasoning and a little lemon juice.
Then, add the shrimp to a hot pan and cook until both sides are opaque.
Remove the shrimp from the pan.
Add a little more oil and some more lemon juice, and stir up all of the seasoning left in the pan.
Serving Blackened Shrimp Pasta
Pour the pan sauce into the pasta and toss.
I like to plate the pasta and then set the shrimp on top (instead of tossing the shrimp into the pasta). That way everyone gets an equal amount of shrimp.
Serve the blackened shrimp pasta right away while everything is still hot. I like to serve a light vegetable side with my pasta, such as this spinach mandarin orange salad or a broccoli raisin salad.
Blackened Shrimp Pasta
- large heavy skillet (12-inch minimum)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes Use more or less as desired
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (diced) or 28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ pound spaghetti Use gluten-free spaghetti if needed
- 8 ounces shrimp (4oz per person) Shells removed + shrimp deveined. Tails on or off, as desired.
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne Omit for less heat
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lemon, juiced (divided)
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (divided
- Add the oil, onions, chili flakes and salt to a large, shallow pan. (Use a 12" pan or larger, see recipe notes.) Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (~5 min). Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, water, and oregano to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.Taste the sauce and add more chili flakes, salt, or oregano if desired. Simmer 1-2 more minutes if you added more seasoning.
- While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.Add the cooked spaghetti to the pasta sauce and toss to coat.
- Toss shrimp in paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt, and the half the lemon juice. Set aside.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium-high heat.Add shrimp to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until shrimp are opaque.Remove shrimp from pan.
- Lower heat to medium and add the remaining ½ tablespoon oil and the remaining lemon juice. Stir the liquid with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
- Pour the pan-sauce into the pasta and toss.Divide pasta between two plates, and then divide the shrimp between the dishes. Serve immediately.
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