shrimp arrabbiata

A few weeks ago on twitter, MG from the real mean girl asked me to share some of my 30 minute recipes. A lot of the recipes I post here are fairly quick. I think a lot of people think that, in order for meals to be quick and easy, they can't be homemade. Most of the meals I make are from scratch but there are two things that I use every so often that are pre-made: frozen pizzas and jarred tomato sauce. I would like to talk to you about tomato sauce today.

I used to be a tomato sauce snob and to some extent I still am. I am over half Italian and grew up eating Italian family recipes. In the beginning of the winter, I cook a huge pot of spaghetti sauce (that simmers for at least seven hours) and freeze it in batches to use in different recipes.

But sometimes, you want a lighter sauce. Or maybe you forgot to defrost the frozen sauce. When I first started working, I decided to try jarred sauces. This was not an easy task to go down the aisle and pick up a few sauces. I felt like people were judging me. I could literally hear my ancestors spewing hateful words. But I perservered. The sauce that I highly recommend is Barilla. First off, read the ingredients on the back of the label. You probably recognize all of the ingredients, right? And secondly, it is budget friendly.
This recipe literally took me ten minutes, fifteen minutes tops. It is a shortened version of an arrabbiata sauce. And it can be very budget friendly depending on where you get your shrimp. I get my shrimp frozen at Sam's Club in bulk. If you defrost it the correct way, it really is pretty good (and the only way I could afford shrimp on a regular basis.)

serves 4

sea salt
1 lb. strozzapreti pasta (or other short pasta)
1 jar of non-meat tomato sauce (I used olive oil and garlic so I didn't have to add garlic)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicier)
1 lb. shrimp (defrosted if frozen)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in a drop of EVOO and a bit of sea salt to flavor the water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce and red pepper flakes to a pan and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and cook, stirring every so often, until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.
3. If the sauce needs to be thinned out a bit, add a little bit of the pasta water. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Toss everything together.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Yum! What is your preferred method of defrosting shrimp? I always put mine in a bowl of cold water, but I'm not sure if this is the best way. Thanks!

  2. melissa - i put the shrimp in a colander on top of a plate in the fridge over night and during the day. i don't like for it to sit in the liquid it defrosts in because sometimes it will get that "fishy" taste. i hope that helps!

  3. mmm...i love shrimp! This looks yummy.

    so this 7 hour sauce.... what would you think of posting that recipe? I'm also on the lookout for a good homemade pizza sauce :)

  4. This looks great! Thanks for sharing... and I am curious like Melissa what you think the best way to defrost shrimp is.


  5. AH! Thank you for sharing. This looks delicious and I love how quick it is. The boyfriend loves, loves, loves shrimp in pasta so I will for sure be trying this out shortly!

  6. This looks pretty good! Bertolli has an Arrabiata sauce too, I guess it will taste even better with that, right?


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