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5 from 1 vote
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce with Shrimp Capellini
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Quick and easy, the best homemade fresh tomato basil sauce ever with garlic shrimp and red pepper flakes!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Florentina
  • 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 c 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
  1. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.
Recipe Notes

Basil blossoms were a nice finishing touch here because I just happened to have them. You can garnish with garlic or onion chives and flowers as well.

Shrimp is optional here so you can make this vegan or vegetarian by simply leaving the seafood out of the recipe.