Penne With Shrimp and Spicy Tomato Sauce

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 12 mins

Paprika, cumin, and ginger lend their aromatic alchemy to a simple, no-cook tomato sauce. You can use the sauce with a wide range of ingredients(see Variations). One variation is vegetarian. With its competing spices, strong-flavored cilantro, and acidic tomatoes, this pasta dish calls for a simple Italian white--a pinot grigio, for example. Notes: I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the olive oil and the lemon juice with the paprika, cumin, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the cilantro.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne rigate until almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 1 minute longer. Drain. Toss with the tomato sauce.
  3. Variations:.
  4. Penne with Mozzarella and Spicy Tomato Sauce;Use 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, in place of the shrimp. Toss the cheese in at the end.
  5. Penne with Sausage and Spicy Tomato Sauce;Use grilled sausage cut into bite-size pieces in place of the shrimp. Toss the sausage into the pasta with the tomato sauce.
  6. Penne with Grilled Vegetables and Spicy Tomato Sauce;In place of the shrimp, use grilled or sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, or green beans, cut into bite-size pieces. Toss the vegetables into the pasta with the sauce.
Most Helpful

This pasta was very different and very good. I loved all the spices in it. Everyone loved this for dinner tonight too, thanks! Made this for ZWT4 for the Chic Chefs.

Midwest Maven June 18, 2008

This is a very different spin on your typical penne recipe. The combination of spices gave the sauce a flavor that is hard to describe, but good. I love cilantro and especially am fond of it in pasta dishes. This meal came together very quickly, which is nice, because I was short on time. I made it with the shrimp and topped with fresh parm. I imagine the recipe would have been improved with the poster's suggestion of using fresh tomatoes over canned, however, I used what I had on hand at the time. Made for ZWT4.

Dr. Jenny June 13, 2008

I used a basic tomato sauce in place of the canned tomatoes, and I realize now that I used almost twice as much as the recipe called for, and about half the amount of olive oil. I cooked the shrimp in with the sauce which I heated on the stove, but I don't think that was necessary. We had the sauce over some packaged gnocchi I bought instead of the penne and it was really tasty. My DH was skeptical when he saw me put the ginger in the sauce, but it turned out really well. I also used cilantro and parsley. The lemon, cilantro and touch of ginger made it taste slightly Asian and was a really awesome unique sauce for pasta.

MC Baker June 02, 2008