Spaghetti with Shrimp In Creamy Tomato Sauce

I often say that even though I am not Italian by birth, I am Italian by heart. After marrying into an Italian family over four decades ago, my love affair with ‘real” Italian food was at my Mother-In-Law’s table, and I have never looked back. I started off slowly trying to recreate a few dishes that my Mother-In-Law shared with me, but I also bought a small cookbook about Italian food, and I went through that cookbook from front to back preparing almost every dish in the book.

That was the first cookbook I ever bought, and although my cookbook collection now includes close to a thousand different books, that little cookbook will always be one of my favorites. Inside the cookbook, there were a few easy pasta dishes that I still make today, along with some more time-intensive recipes such as ravioli that I enjoyed learning how to make in my kitchen.

Along with family recipes, that little cookbook was instrumental in developing my love of Italian cuisine. I soon moved to Italy where we lived for eight years, and by that point, I was keeping an Italian kitchen almost exclusively.

This is one of the very first pasta dishes I ever made over 45 years ago from that cookbook that I have tweaked a number of times over the years. Back then, it became one of my favorite dishes to serve for guests as it was easy to prepare and everyone loved it.

I recently had to switch recipe plugins for my blog which entailed spending many hours going through my over a thousand recipes, and I came across this pasta dish which was last shared on the blog in 2008. I decided to take the recipe out, dust it off if you will, and see if it still is as tasty as I remember. I tested this dish for my husband recently to see if it needed anything different, and it was still as good as I remember despite not having prepared it for many years.

If you keep frozen shrimp on hand, it is a great, quick dish to prepare for unexpected guests. I personally prefer dried spaghetti to fresh pasta in this dish, but this sauce would also be delicious on fresh fettuccine as well.

Adjust the red pepper to suit your taste, or leave it out altogether if you prefer. I do use heavy cream (whipping cream) in this dish, but only a small amount. That little bit of cream adds a creaminess that truly elevates the dish.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele  

Spaghetti with Shrimp In Creamy Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Shrimp In Creamy Tomato Sauce

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A creamy rose colored pasta sauce with shrimp that would be elegant enough for entertaining.


  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 12 oz. Shrimp - Cleaned & Deveined
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Brandy
  • 4 Cups Chopped Canned Tomatoes, Or Tomato Puree
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Pound of Spaghetti
  • 1 Small Bunch of Fresh Parsley - Finely Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper - To Taste
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Put pasta on to cook while doing this.
  3. Add shrimp to the oil in the frying pan, and cook 1-2 minutes until pink, then remove into a separate dish.
  4. Add garlic & stir once or twice.
  5. Next, add the brandy and cook till reduced by half.
  6. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper & red pepper flakes, and cook uncovered over medium heat 5-6 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cream, lower heat & mix in shrimp just until just heated through.
  8. Mix shrimp sauce with cooked pasta, and serve with parsley sprinkled over top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 1183mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 29g

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  1. Please excuse the inability to follow one step .
    Do you par-cook the shrimp in the pasta water and set aside or in the saucepan with only the heating oil and set aside ? I would appreciate your advice because either would cook the shrimp- one would flavor the oil the other method, flavor the pasta water .
    Thank you and very sorry for your loss. I just lost my mother at 96 and it’s never the right time !
    Regards !

  2. My condolences on the passing of your mother. I have travelled that road with both my parents. Time tempers the pain.
    My ancestors on my mom’s side are from Calabria and my wife’s mom’s ancestors are from Sicily. We live near London, Ontario, Canada. We love to hear of your travels and try a lot of your recipes.
    Keep the faith and go forward. We love you!

  3. So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.  I enjoy your blog and am an avid collector of cookbooks. I’m curious as to the name of the first Italian cookbook you are referring  to.

    1. It was an Australian Women’s Weekly magazine cookbook. Not sure where I found it but we were in Canada so have access to a lot of UK and Australian publications.

  4. I ve been on a creamy pasta kick lately, and am adding this Creamy Tomato Pasta with Shrimp to my arsenal. I decided to use shrimp because I try to make sure that I have shrimp frozen in the freezer. The other ingredients are all pantry staples, so when I have a loaf of Bake Break™ bread in the freezer as well, a delicious meal is always at my fingertips!! I especially love that this Creamy Tomato Pasta with Shrimp is sophisticated enough to serve to company, but it s easy enough to whip up on a weeknight for my family. Win, win!!

  5. Made this last night and it was delicious!  I added some torn fresh basil while the sauce simmered and used 2 pounds of shrimp.  We have enough sauce for leftovers.  Thanks for the recipe!

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