Today we’re making one of our all-time favorite date night recipes (great for Valentine’s Day), our easy spicy shrimp pasta. It has a lot of components, but it’s easy to make and we’re sharing our tips for making it great!
Bonus time: We are pairing up with some of our favorite bloggers to bring you a list of great Valentine’s Day recipes. You’ll find the list and links at the bottom of this post!
As we mentioned in our super simple spicy shrimp post, one of our favorite date night recipes is our easy spicy shrimp pasta . The spicy part comes from crushed red pepper. Spicy shrimp and your favorite pasta all melted together with feta, spinach, and tomatoes. Yum! Seriously, it’s hard to beat.
Check out the Video!
Generally, we use linguine for our pasta in this recipe. It pairs really well with the sauce. But, any sort of pasta will do. You might notice in the accompanying pictures and video it’s spaghetti noodles, not linguine. On this occasion when we reached to the pantry for linguine there was none to be found. Doh! Food blogger fail. But no worries, it still turned out delicious. As stated, any sort of pasta will do.
In fact, you can make this dish without pasta! If you are looking for a gluten-free, no carb version, we have also made this spicy shrimp dish with zoodles. Not quite as decadent, but still totally delicious and still a great way to splurge while still watching your carbs.
Because any pasta will do and because we love this dish so much, we often just refer to it as spicy shrimp pasta or even just “shrimp dish”. Call it whatever you like, just enjoy it! What you call it may depend on how you customize it. We tend to use a generous amount of red pepper and so we often call it spicy shrimp dish or spicy shrimp linguine. We also tend to be heavy handed with the garlic so garlic shrimp linguine or garlic shrimp pasta would also be apt names. What will your dish be called?
More than the name, we are concerned with what beverage to pair it with and we love pairing it with our coconut rum strawberry daiquiris. Spicy dishes pair well with frozen drinks and strawberry daiquiris are one of our favorite frozen drinks.
Fresh or Frozen
When you make this spicy shrimp pasta you can use either fresh or frozen shrimp. We love buying it fresh, but it’s not always possible and so we also like the convenience of having frozen shrimp in the freezer. One of the things we love about shrimp is that it’s really easy to thaw. If you forget to pull it out of the freezer, you can put it in a colander and run cool water on it for a few minutes. Remove the shells, set it on a paper towel lined plate, and it’s ready to cook!
The key to the whole dish is that after about 10 minutes in the oven while you are stirring the shrimp, spinach, tomato, feta, and wine mixture that you smush (yes, that’s a technical cooking term) the feta so that it ends up melding with the liquid to make a delicious feta flavored cheese sauce. On occasion, when I only have a little wine on hand I add some of the pasta water to pan in the oven for extra sauce (don’t add too much–maybe 1/3 of a cup).
A Quick Warning
Don’t skimp on the feta! We tried this dish once with low-fat feta and it was a total flop. We’re all for making healthier dishes when they work, but in this case, the idea fell flat. Feta is just such a star ingredient in this dish and it just wasn’t the same without it. We’d recommend halving the amount of feta you use before we recommend using low-fat feta. Low-fat feta…yeah…let’s just say we’re not the biggest fans. 🙂
So, in review:
Spicy Shrimp Pasta Tips
- remember to thaw the shrimp ahead of time if you use frozen shrimp
- No linguine, no worries…any sort of pasta will do
- Zoodles are a great pasta alternative when watching your carbs or following a gluten-free diet
- pair this dish with your favorite frozen drink
- don’t forget to smush some of the feta cheese while mixing so that it blends into the sauce
Spicy Shrimp Pasta
- 1 T . olive oil
- 1 lb . shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tsp . italian seasoning
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2-3 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 oz . spinach , roughly chopped
- 4-6 oz . feta , chopped
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes , cut in half
- 1/2 c . white wine
- 8 oz . linguine
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place and start heat to a large pot of water on the stovetop for the pasta.
Oil a 13x9 inch pan.
Layer spinach and then feta in pan.
Heat oil in a skillet.
Add shrimp to the pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
Cook for 1-2 minutes and flip to the other side.
Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stir and cook another 1 minute.
Transfer shrimp to pan with spinach and feta.
Return skillet to heat and add wine to deglaze the pan.
Cook wine for several minutes until reduced.
Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pour tomatoes and wine over shrimp.
Place pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, stir, then return to oven for another 5 minutes.
Salt the boiling pasta water and start cooking pasta after shrimp pan is in the oven.
Cook pasta according to directions.
When pasta and shrimp mixture are cooked, serve, and enjoy!
And now, the Valentine’s Day Recipes:
1st Row, Left to Right
Bottom Row, Left to Right
The above Spicy Shrimp Pasta