This pasta dish will become a fast favorite as it’s super easy to execute (aka, perfect for a busy weeknight), yet feels special enough to serve for guests.
Getting all the ingredients prepped is the key; once you start cooking you’ll need to nothing more than the occasional stir.
If your family tends toward “mild” versus “spicy”, simply reduce the amount of red pepper or eliminate altogether and serve it on the side!
Spicy Tomato Shrimp and Pasta:
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
- 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
- 28 ounce can or box of crushed or diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 chopped parsley
- 1 pound spaghetti
Combine shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of minced garlic in a small bowl. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, drained tomatoes and wine in a medium bowl. Combine the reamaining 1 tablespoon minced garlic and the parsley in a small bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Heat a large skillet over high heat for 4 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet, spread in a single layer and cook (without stirring) for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and add the cognac. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 seconds. Return pan to high heat and wave a lit match over until the cognac ignites; shake the skillet till the flames subside. Transfer the shrimp to a clean bowl and set aside.
Take the skillet off the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Return to the stove and reduce heat to low. Add the garlic/oil mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture, raise the heat to medium-high, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp (with any accumulated liquid) and garlic/parsley mixture and stir for a few minutes, or till shrimp are cooked through. Remove from heat and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta with the remaining tablespoon of salt till al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain. Return the pasta back to the pot and add 1/2 cup of the sauce (without the shrimp) and about half the pasta water and toss to coat. Divide pasta among serving bowls and top with some sauce and shrimp.