Shrimp Stock Pasta

May 23rd, 2021

Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking: 2 hours

Serves 4

By far my favorite pasta to make - a tomato-based pasta with a sauce made from shrimp stock and cherry tomatoes. Recipe inspired by (but has deviated far away from) this.

It may look unassuming... But I promise you I have yet to disappoint anyone with this recipe. Even the hard-to-please Dr. Jia!


1. Chop and dice 5 cloves of garlic, peel the remaining 2. De-stem and halve the cherry tomatoes. Peel the shrimp, putting heads and shells into the small stock pot.

2. In addition to the shrimp head and shells, add the two cloves of peeled garlic, 1 tablespoon of pepper, 2 cups of chicken stock, and 1 cup of water into the stock pot. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until liquid is reduced by around half (around 45 minutes). Reduce it down even further if you want more shrimpy flavor!

2.5. (OPTIONAL) Dry your shrimp and scallops (if you have them) in paper towels and salt both sides. In the pan you were planning to make your sauce, heat up two table spoons of olive oil in high heat and pan sear your shrimp and scallops for around 1 minute per side, or until you get some nice color on both sides. Remove your seared seafood and let rest on a plate. Use this same pan (with all the searing residue and oil) to make your sauce for some extra depth in flavor!

3. Place your saucepan on medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or less if you have residual oil from searing your seafood), 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 4 cloves of chopped garlic to the heating sauce pan. Cook until garlic is softened (before browned!), around 2 minutes.

4. Add all of the hot shrimp stock into the sauce pan, along with the halved cherry tomatoes and the can of diced tomatoes. Incorporate everything and allow the sauce to come to a boil and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add your 1/2 cup of white wine. Simmer until the sauce is reduced down to around 1/3 of its volume, until the sauce is just starting to become a bit thick, around 30-45 minutes.

4.5. (OPTIONAL) Pour the sauce into a blender and blend on high until the sauce is still slightly lumpy, around 30 seconds. Make sure your lid is on! After blending, transfer your blended sauce back into the sauce pan. While this step is optional, I highly recommend doing it. It makes your sauce so much more flavorful and yields a lot more sauce than if you didn't blend it.

5. Fill your pasta pot full of water, add your salt and bring to a boil. Add your pasta and cook until 1 minute before package instructions for al dente.

6. If you still have too much sauce in your saucepan, remove all but 4 servings of the sauce and refrigerate the rest for another meal. Transfer your pasta directly into the saucepan with the sauce. Add 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water into the saucepan, and save another cup of pasta water. Incorporate and let the sauce with the pasta come to a simmer.

7. Add your seafood and continue mixing and simmering for another 2 minutes, until shrimp is cooked and sauce reduces to the desired consistency. If the pasta is a bit dry, add more pasta water as needed from the saved pasta water. Salt and pepper to taste. (Optional) Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and incorporate until melted.

8. Plate and serve immediately with some shredded parmesan (or cheeseless if lactose is the bane of your existence like for my stomach).

  • Shrimps - ~0.5kgs, with shell and head still on (I used tiger prawns for more shrimp flavor!)
  • (Completely optional) Scallops - 8 of 'em
  • Stem-on cherry tomatoes - ~500g
  • Diced canned tomatoes - 1x 411g can
  • Pasta - 4 servings (I used fusilli - regardless of the shape, try and get the bronze die cut kind!)
  • Chicken stock - 2 cups
  • Water - ~1 cup
  • Garlic - 7 cloves
  • Olive oil - 3 tablespoons
  • Red pepper flakes - ~1 teaspoon (depending on how spicy you want this!)
  • Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
  • Black pepper - 1 tbsp and to taste
  • Salt - A fistful for the pasta water, and to taste
  • (Optional but highly recommended) Butter - 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Parmesan - shredded to garnish
  • Large sauce pan/dutch oven
  • Pot (for boiling pasta)
  • Smaller pot (for making shrimp stock)
  • Blender (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • Can opener