Shrimp Capellini Pomodoro Recipe

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Shrimp Capellini Pomodoro, a fresh tomato sauce with basil and shrimp for when  cherry tomatoes and basil are taking over the garden. Quick and easy, absolutely the best homemade summer pasta sauce ever!

Bowl of Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce with Shrimp Capellini

Shrimp Pomodoro

“ Umido di Gamberi al Pomodoro Piccante “ like shrimp scampi but better, the magic of this dish comes from lots of garlic (no onions), red pepper flakes and freshly squeezed lemon juice combined together with those fresh tomato juices.

Capellini noodles, also known as angel hair pasta in Italian are very thin spaghetti that are a must for this light zesty garlicky sauce. If you are looking for a thick spaghetti or bucatini sauce then you should make this arrabbiata frutti di mare with canned San Marzano tomatoes instead. 

Go crazy with the fresh basil here, but only add it to your dish at the very end, just before serving, or it will lose that fresh flavor if cooked. Feel free to add a couple of handfuls of baby arugula or spinach to bump up the nutritional value. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side and maybe a slice of focaccia bread

Mangia bene!

Shrimp Capellini Pomodoro with Lemon and Basil on a Rustic Table

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
5 from 1 vote

Shrimp Capellini Pomodoro

Shrimp Capellini Pomodoro, a fresh tomato sauce with basil and shrimp for when  cherry tomatoes and basil are taking over the garden
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes


  • 3/4 lb capellini pasta (cooked according to the instructions on the package)
  • 1/2 lb cherry heirloom tomatoes -halved
  • 1 extra large heirloom tomato -diced
  • 4 clusters cherry tomatoes -whole on the vine
  • 7 cloves garlic -grated + more to taste
  • 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil + more for garnish
  • 5 sprigs fresh basil (leaves only)
  • 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 lemon -freshly squeezed + more to taste
  • the zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon -quartered
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to your taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb wild caught shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
  • 1/4 c basil or chive flowers for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes -or to taste


  • Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  • Meanwhile preheat your broiler. Set the clusters of cherry tomatoes on a broiler safe dish. Drizzle with a lug of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Broil them until they burst and start releasing their juices. About 5 minutes or so, and keep warm.
  • Heat up the 4 tbsp of olive oil in a sautee pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 35 seconds until it releases its flavors (don’t let it get any color.
  • Add the red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes and the halved cherry tomatoes. Let them to simmer on low flame until they start to release their juices (3-5 min). Season to your taste with the sea salt.
  • Add the cleaned shrimp, cover with a lid and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes or so, until no longer translucent, slightly pink and curls up.
  • Add the squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning with the salt and pepper then add the the capellini to coat nicely in the sauce.
  • Transfer to serving plates, dividing the seafood between them. Finish with a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some of the broiled cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with the basil leaves. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.


  • Basil blossoms were a nice finishing touch here because I just happened to have them. You can garnish with onion chives and blossoms instead, parsley or fresh basil.
  • You can omit the shrimp and make this recipe vegan & vegetarian or replace it with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts or plant-based shrimp made from seaweed. 


Calories: 581kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 896mg | Potassium: 560mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1060IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian, pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 581kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. This looks so delish! Have a question, can I put frozen shrimp without thawing in the mix? Oh and I just thought of salmon with it! Yum!

    1. Hi Melissa, I wouldn’t use frozen shrimp, they just won’t have enough time to cook in the sauce. Just run them under cold water for a few minutes and they will be great. Enjoy !

  2. My favorite pasta recipe is good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs with a homemade sauce.

  3. We love pesto, but we are gluten-free so we do spaghetti squash (or GF noodles) instead of pasta.