A big thank you to Emeril, because this recipe changed my life. This is no exaggeration. It is easy, delicious, and tastes like Italian food from a restaurant right at home. I keep the ingredients on hand all the time for unexpected guests or good news days (“Hey, Mom, I finally got an A on that Biology test!”). Your family will LOVE it! –Erin
1 pound spaghetti (linguine would be good here too, but my crew likes spaghetti better!)
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup small diced onion
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (For an adults only dinner, I will use 3 Teaspoons, but way too spicy if dining with kids.)
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
1 teaspoon salt
grated Parmesan to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil and then cook the pasta for half of the recommended time (about 5-6 minutes). Pasta will be partially cooked. When draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water for use later.
2. As the pasta cooks, set a 14 inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions to the pan and cook until lightly caramelized and wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté briefly before adding the tomato sauce and tomato paste.
5. Cook the sauce until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan along with 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and continue to cook the pasta in the sauce until al dente, about 3-4 minutes.
8. Season the pasta with salt. (Emeril adds fresh parsley here, but we don’t like parsley.)
9. Toss to combine with grated Parmesan.