Shrimp SpaghettiBecause this dish takes shortcuts by using canned pasta sauce and tomatoes, here in the Deep South it is often referred to as Shrimp Boat Spaghetti, a dish that can easily be made with a scoop out of the day's catch with ingredients that are easily transported on a shrimp boat.
It's a speedy dish that comes together in no time but tastes like it simmered all day, perfect for those long work days. Use whatever sauce you like here, what you can catch on sale, or what is available at a lower cost. I prefer the Del Monte traditional version of their canned sauce, because it tastes great and is inexpensive.
As always, I recommend using Wild American shrimp, never foreign imports and if you are near us, preferably Gulf shrimp, when purchasing shrimp.
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Recipe: Shrimp Spaghetti©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped medium sweet bell pepper (red or green)
- 2 toes garlic, chopped
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian style stewed tomatoes
- 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel), undrained
- 1 (24-26 ounce) can your favorite pasta sauce (like Del Monte)
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 (12-16 ounce) package spaghetti noodles
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes, optional
Peel and devein shrimp, rinse and drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Spread shrimp out on a large baking pan in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning to taste depending on how hot you like it. Set aside.
Add olive oil to a deep skillet and heat to medium. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add garlic and cook a bit longer but do not allow garlic to brown or it will have a bitter taste. Add stewed tomatoes and use a potato masher to break them up. Add diced tomatoes and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add pasta sauce, bay leaves, basil and Old Bay; let simmer for another 15 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add to it 2 to 3 very generous pinches of kosher salt. Add pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining and set aside. Drain pasta well and set aside.
Add shrimp and parsley to sauce, stir well and cook just until pink and cooked through. Add only enough pasta water to sauce as needed, and only if sauce has become too thick. Taste the sauce, adding salt and pepper as needed. Combine the pasta with several spoons of the sauce and toss well. Plate individual servings of pasta, top with sauce, crack a bit of fresh black pepper over top and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.
Cook's Notes: For smaller sized shrimp, increase to 2 pounds if desired. May also stir the cooked and well drained pasta right into the sauce. Although crab spaghetti works better with a slow simmering sauce and gumbo crabs added for flavor, 1 pound of fresh crabmeat, picked over for shell, may be substituted. Add at the end to warm through, along with or in place of shrimp.
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©Deep South Dish
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