Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A long time ago, I used to go to a restaurant in Los Angeles that served a dish called Pasta Portofino (or something like that). It included pasta with shrimp, tomato, garlic, and basil. It was a favorite of mine, and eventually I came up with my own version of it.  The restaurant
is long since closed, but I still enjoy this recipe all the time.

This is a light pasta dish that really lets the flavors of shrimp, tomato, basil, and garlic shine.  I originally created the recipe without the zucchini, but one day I had one left over and I decided to add it.  When it’s chopped so finely, it adds nutrition and texture without a heavy zucchini flavor.


Cook Time: 25 mins.
Level:  Easy
Yield:  2


1/2 tbs exra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb raw jumbo shrimp, peeled, tails off, and deveined
4 garlic cloves, minced finely
1/2 small zucchini, chopped in food processor or mini prep for a very fine consistency
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt (plus salt for boiling pasta)
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
4-6 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
1 cup penne pasta
Freshly grated parmesan to taste

In a large pot, put water to boil for pasta with a handful of salt.  When water boils, cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.

Mince and chop your garlic and zucchini and set aside.  Cut the tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out some of the juice and seeds into the sink, then chop.

In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium.  Do not let it get too hot before putting in your garlic and zucchini because the garlic could burn.  Sautee for 1-2 minutes.  Add the shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt and sautee until the shrimps are pink and almost cooked through, 2-3 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes and finish cooking the shrimp 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil.

Add the pasta to the skillet and mix thoroughly.  Serve in bowls or plates and top with fresh parmesan.

copyright Holly West 2009

7 Replies to “Pasta with Shrimp, Tomato, Garlic & Basil Recipe”

  1. Carl says: January 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Hi, Searching internet for some dish ideas that worked with some ingredients I had in the kitchen. Found your recipe, and thought I’d try it….whammo, great recipe, everyone liked it and it was easy to prepare!! Thanks from the man in the house!

  2. Holly says: August 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. The Hobbins says: July 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband and I made it tonight and it was absolutely scrumptious! We used grape tomatoes, zucchini and basil from our garden. In addition we added onions and a splash of fresh squeezed lemon. Since we did not have penne in the house we just used thin spaghetti. Delicious!
    The Hobbins

  4. says: April 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I have been making this for years, but do not like zucchini, so make without it. A woman who had a catering company called “Along Comes Mary” taught me. And since I grow my own tomatoes and basil every year, it is a must have on my patio with some wonderful delicate red wine. Salud!!!

  5. Antoinette says: February 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Sounds wonderful. I’ll have to make some. Whole wheat pasta has really come a long way. It’s all we eat anymore.
    Thanks for the tip! Red sauce in a jar is really high in sodium and I’m watching John’s blood pressure, so I’ll have to make it next week.

  6. Holly West says: February 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Hi Katie,
    If you do make it, please let me know! I’d like to know how you liked it.

  7. Katie at Making This Home says: February 4, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Holly, I saw this recipe here yesterday… and I feel silly. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since! I love the simple ingredients involved (we live in Germany now, so it’s tough to find the American things I’m used to). The next time I bike to the grocery store (haha–how European does that sound? sheesh), I’ll be picking up some basil. This looks really good. Thanks.

Leave a Reply