Feel Good Orecchiette with Shrimp

One of the reasons I love to cook is because it’s a tasty way to take a quick break from reality. Nothing beats listening to music while stirring, chopping, tasting away in my kitchen. This recipe in particular is one that forces you to take a timeout from your busy day, since you continue to stir the tomato sauce as it cooks. I made this for my parents this past summer, and my Dad walked into the kitchen while I was cooking and said “You look so zen right now,” and he was so very right!!

Allow me to share my zen master ways…

Orecchiette with Shrimp: Serves 4-6


  • 16 ounces orecchiette
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 red chile pepper, cut into halves and minced
  • 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta in boiling salted water using package directions until al dente and then drain the pasta
  • Cover to keep warm
  • Sauté the garlic in olive oil in a saucepan until golden brown
  • Stir in tomatoes and chile pepper
  • Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally
  • Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the shrimp
  • Cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the basil and season with salt and black pepper
  • Remove from the heat and fold into the pasta

This recipe is warm, delicious, and one of my feel good favorites. You can also substitute rice, quinoa, or even remove the starch all together and serve with veggies if you’re trying to keep it healthy. Enjoy!

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