Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce and Shrimp

Summer might have officially come to a close this past weekend, but lets give it one last hurrah with Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce and Shrimp, featuring that final batch of farmers market-fresh colorful heirloom tomatoes. There is really nothing like a ripe, fresh tomato roasted and caramelized in its own juice, olive oil and garlic. You will be swooning.

Speaking of which, I am going to dub this pasta "date night dish": The authors of the original recipe, which hails from Spoon Fork Bacon, describe this recipe as the perfect go-to for the first time you cook for a boy - it's universally delicious and hard to mess up! As long as you have quality tomatoes you are really set up for success: whether you splurge for a totally authentic meal that would make Mario Batali proud with a good quality olive oil, fresh pasta and specialty Parmesan cheese, or cook this with a store-bought 99 cent package of Barilla (a la me), I promise this dish will taste good. A slow-simmering tomato, oregano, basil and wine sauce just cannot fail. Still nervous for your date? Luckily this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of red wine, so pour a glass during prep time and serve the rest of the bottle during dinner. The dish begs for a glass of good wine alongside it.
The original recipe called for pappardelle, and I think any long noodle- linguine or spaghetti too- would work well in this dish. I added shrimp for a protein boost, and then topped with feta to go along with the Mediterranean theme. However, Parmesan is the obvious choice for a cheese if serving plain or with meatballs. I also added onions to the sauce for a chunkier medium. I realized this midway through and tossed them in with the wine to the simmering sauce, but in retrospect, I would definitely roast them alongside the tomatoes next time.

One last suggestion: make sure you do not include the juices in the canned whole tomatoes if you are going to add the pasta water at the end of the dish. Because I used both, the sauce ended up a tad too liquidy. I would only add the pasta water in the end on an as-needed basis.

Linguine with a Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce and Shrimp (from SpoonForkBacon)
Serves 3 to 5

1 ½ lbs cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
1 garlic clove, lightly smashed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes with the juices
1 cup basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons oregano, minced
½ cup red wine
1 lb pasta (papardelle, linguine or spaghetti)
½ Vidalia onion, minced

1 lb cooked shrimp, deveined

2 tablespoons basil, chopped

feta or Parmesan cheese
optional: hot red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Bring a large pot up to a boil.
3. Season with a generous amount of salt and add pasta. Stir.
4. Cook until al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes for fresh pasta and 8 to 10 for dry.
5. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water, and gently toss pasta with olive oil. Set aside.
6. Place the cherry tomatoes, thyme, garlic, onion, and olive oil onto a baking sheet and toss together.
7. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until soft and lightly caramelized.
8. Pour half of the cherry tomatoes into a small bowl and set aside.
9. Pour the onion and remaining cherry tomatoes into a blender with the canned tomatoes, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
10. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir in the red wine.
11. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
12. Toss the sauce, pasta, shrimp, and pasta water (if needed) together and finish with remaining roasted tomatoes and chopped basil. Sprinkle with cheese and/or hot red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve warm.


  1. This looks fantastic. It's amazing how much of a difference roasting the tomatoes makes. Can't wait to try it!

  2. This recipe looks so tempting, i can visualize how it would taste like. Instead of using canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes you could also use tomato sauce.


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