This creamy garlic prawn pasta is where comfort food meets healthy prawn pasta. In this spicy pasta recipe, prawns are baked in a flavorful spicy tomato sauce and added to pasta for a quick and healthy seafood dinner.
About the recipe
Honestly, I was never a fan of the tomato sauce, the tang is too much for me, especially the store-bought ones or even the restaurant ones. And coming from the land of spices, I love my spices. I just cannot eat anything with tomatoes and garlic without spices. Not even pasta. (I hope now you’ll forgive me for adding chilies to my mint pesto!)
That was until I figured out a way to balance the tangy flavor of the tomatoes with chilies, garlic, onions and herbs. I’m so thankful I did, this spicy parmesan shrimp pasta has become one of the favorite seafood recipes for my family and friends.
Angel hair is the easiest and quickest pasta to cook. The tomato sauce takes about 10 minutes to prepare, including the chopping and blending. Prawns are then cooked in the sauce: you have the option to bake or simmer on stove-top. Either way, it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to cook the prawns and the sauce.
While the shrimps are simmering away in the sauce, you can cook angel hair pasta that takes 1 minute flat. Delicious, Easy and Healthy shrimp pasta recipe that helps you get dinner to the table in less than 30 minutes. Hands down, this pasta tops my list of quick and easy dinner recipes. You’re going to LOVE this!
How to make spicy parmesan shrimp pasta- step by step
Spicy tomato sauce for pasta
The tomato sauce is made by sauteing onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, paprika, chili flakes and then blending to form a paste. Before blending, add my secret ingredient: parsley stems. They give an amazing flavor to the sauce and balance out the zesty flavor of tomatoes. They may slightly change the bright red color of the tomatoes but that’s the compromise you make for a great-tasting pasta sauce.
How to prepare the prawns
If buying fresh prawns, remove the shells and tail and devein. If using frozen prawns, thaw them by washing a few times with tap water or soaking in tap water for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature. Leaving frozen prawns to thaw naturally (on the kitchen counter) will make them go limp and mushy.
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How to bake prawns in spicy tomato sauce
Grease a baking tray with butter and arrange the shrimps in a single layer. Spread the red sauce to completely cover the prawns. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F/ 175°C.
Can you cook the tomato prawns on stovetop?
Baking the sauce with shrimps locks in the flavor and gives a thick consistency. However, if you want to cook the sauce on stovetop, by all means, go ahead. It takes a bit longer if simmered on stove-top. Heat butter in a pan and add the shrimps and sauce. Mix and simmer until the prawns are cooked (become opaque).
How do you cook angel hair pasta?
I used to think that nobody needs to learn how to cook pasta because it is so straightforward. I’ve never been so WRONG! If you don’t cook it right, you will be left with a lump of pasta that is overcooked in some parts and undercooked in some. Or just clumpy overcooked pasta. Cooking angel hair pasta is trickier because it cooks so fast, you wouldn’t even have time to think about the damage!
So when cooking angel hair, I can’t stress “al dente” more. That means the pasta should be “firm to the bite” and not too soft.
To begin with, ensure that you’ve started cooking the shrimps with the sauce in the oven (or stovetop) BEFORE cooking the pasta because the sauce has to be hot and ready when the pasta is done.
Boil water (about 3 liters/ 12 cups for this recipe) in a large stockpot with 1 tablespoon of salt. There should be enough water and space for the pasta to move around. So choose a large pot to boil the pasta.
How long does angel hair pasta take to cook?
Angel hair pasta typically takes 2 to 4 minutes to cook depending on the brand. Cook 1 minute lesser than the time specified in the package. Mine said 2 minutes so I cooked for 1 minute. (quicker than instant noodles!) This is because you are going to mix the pasta with hot sauce where it again gets cooked in the residual heat.
Drain the pasta while you reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. The tomato prawns will be ready by now. Place the pasta in a wide pan and toss with the red sauce and shrimps. Add the reserved pasta water as necessary, a few teaspoons at a time. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and parsley.
Tips to make the best healthy prawn pasta
Cilantro can also be used instead of parsley, or replace half of parsley with cilantro. Do whatever mix-and-match suits you, but do not skip the stems while making the red sauce. It makes ALL the difference.
Toss the pasta with the sauce while it is still HOT. This helps pasta absorb the sauce better.
Hope I have answered all your questions about this shrimp pasta recipe. If you have more questions, please let me know in the comment section below. I’ll try my best to answer them!
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