Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr

This is probably my favorite pasta recipe of all time. Originally from Food & Wine's "Pasta" cookbook, I've tweaked it over the years to my taste. Here's their description: "Slender capellini soak up sauce like a blotter. So, toss the pasta first with butter and then ladle the basil-infused sauce over each portion." Their wine recommendation is a Vinho Verde from Portugal. Yum, one of my favorites too! This recipe doubles and triples very well - I've served it many times for dinner parties and everyone loves it.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until thick, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking.
  3. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, getting ready for the pasta.
  4. Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher until all large pieces are broken up. (Original recipe says to run through a food mill, but I don't think it's necessary)
  5. Add the heavy cream and bring the sauce to a boil over moderate heat.
  6. Add the shrimp and basil and cook just until the shrimp are pink, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add salt to the pot of boiling water, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is just done, about 3 minutes. Drain.
  8. Toss the pasta with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  9. The original recipe says to serve the pasta topped with the sauce, but we like to just mix it all together in the pot and serve already coated.
  10. You can pass freshly grated parmesan at the table, if desired.
Most Helpful

Fantastic recipe! What a delicious dish, I have made it often and will continue to do so.<br/>Thanks for submitting it!

Irishkathleen December 23, 2013

This was a very easy, yet very elegant pasta dish. I thought it also works nicely for a weeknight meal since the prep is so minimal. I used 28 oz of San Marzano tomatoes. I liked the basil/cream/tomato combination with the nice amount of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes. Next time, I might use a whole pound of shrimp as I really liked the shrimp in the dish and wouldn't have minded a few more shrimpy bites! Thanks for a nice dinner. Made for Photo Tag Spring 2013.

Dr. Jenny March 14, 2013