#GifeLife: Shrimp and creamy tomato sauce recipe is at-home date night perfection!

By Ciara Rouege

Sometimes…a girl just wants some shrimp! I left work Monday evening with an intense craving for shrimp and tomato sauce.

I could’ve made a solo stop to Carrabba’s on the way home, but bae was working late and I didn’t want to leave him with a squished, lukewarm Wendy’s cheeseburger — so to the kitchen I went!

Of all the recipes for creamy tomato sauce, I chose the Spaghetti with Shrimp and Creamy Tomato Sauce on the Natasha’s Kitchen website because it had the most reviews and the best pictures. Don’t act like you’ve never bought a brand because the packaging looked cool — I do it all the time!

And the best thing about pasta dishes: you don’t have to worry about sides. I spent about $20 on ingredients, spending the most money on shrimp and shopping mostly store-brand only. It’s a perfect date night dish if you want to impress but not exhaust yourself. Also, if you want to be full but not weighed down before engaging in…other activities.

First, I want to point out that I spent double the suggested time, which was 30 minutes, making this meal because I’m the slowest at-home cook on the planet. Second, I almost never follow the recommended measurements unless I’m like baking a cake. I just add seasoning til it smells good…and stop adding ingredients when I think it’s enough. Hasn’t failed me yet!

However, I resisted my New Orleans upbringing and refrained from adding Cayenne pepper or salted butter— sticking strictly to the seasonings listed: salt and pepper. Lawd, help me! I did add a few extra teaspoons of hot chili flakes, but it needed that extra kick in my opinion. Got to keep it spicy!

The recipe gives you the option of using onions or chives. I went with chives simply to break the repetitiveness of using onions all the time with my pasta dishes — just wanted to experience a different taste! It also looks like they used a chardonnay for their dry wine, but I switched it out for a fruity and reasonably priced sauvignon blanc that I later paired with the meal.

I won’t lie; I was feeling super lazy and bought canned tomatoes instead of dicing up fresh ones. Thinking I wouldn’t have to pull out the chopping block, I realized I’d have to cut the chives and fresh basil leaves when I got home. It would have been a tinsy-winsy better had I diced — and not butchered  — my greens.

The recipe recommended spaghetti or angel hair pasta, but personally, Farfalle is my favorite pasta to pair with shrimp or crawfish. If you’re looking for something a little more hardy, I’d go for the linguine.

Of course, my favorite dessert during the summer months are cherries. We finished our time at the dinner table with a succulent handful of dark Hudson cherries and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Bonus: Chris thought it was delicious! I just love that look on his face when he comes home and the house is clean(ish) and the smell of a tasty, homemade meal hits him right at the door. It’s the domestic southern belle in me— I know, shameful!

What’s next? I’ll figure that out at the grocery store tonight!


  • 1 pound of medium-sized, peel raw shrimp
  • 3/4 pound of spaghetti or angel hair pasta (That’s about 9 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 6 diced medium-sized tomatoes (I went with canned diced tomatoes — but do you!)
  • 1 mall onion, or 1/4 cup of chives, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of diced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of dry white wine. (Take your pick chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvginon blanc, etc. But it must be dry!)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan to serve


  1. Lightly season shrimp with salt and pepper and saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium to high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until white/pinkish in color. Be sure to turn shrimp over while cooking. And then set aside. Well, be adding this back in later.
  2. Put the tomatoes, onion, chili flakes, basil, garlic and butter into a heavy pan, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add wine, and then cook over a medium to high heat until mixture is soft and most of the wine has evaporated. You should have about 1/4 cup of liquid remaining.
  4. While the vegetables simmer, this is a great time to start cooking your pasta! You want it to be al dente, meaning just a tinsy-winsy bit under cooked). Rise, drain and then set aside.
  5. Once the sauce has mostly evaporated, stir in cream and bring back that shrimp! Let it warm all together for about 2 minutes, season it with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta with the sauce.
  6. Top it with Parmesan and a few fresh basil leaves. Let it sent under the lid for about 2 minutes, to help the cheese melt.
  7. Light some candles. Pour some wine. Cue the Sade and D’Angelo. 😉

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