Tuscan shrimp is an elegant but easy to make weeknight dinner recipe. Tender shrimp is smothered in a creamy tomato sauce with colorful fresh spinach.
This easy shrimp recipe will make six servings and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
My creamy sun dried tomato sauce is unique. The sun dried tomatoes provide a sweet-tart flavor. Adding heavy cream and Parmesan makes it thick and creamy. A surprise ingredient of walnuts gives it a savory, buttery finish. Almost like a tomato walnut pesto of sorts!
What is the best way to peel shrimp?
You can purchase frozen shrimp that is already peeled, deveined and has the tail removed. Shrimp that is shell-on is usually a little more affordable. Don’t be afraid of shrimp that needs a little attention. It’s easy once you learn how.
- Pull off the little feathery legs to get them out of the way.
- Work your thumbs under the shell starting where the legs were. Break it away from the body as you go. If deveined and shell is still on, follow video instructions.
- You can leave the tail on for some cooking methods. For this easy shrimp recipe, I take the tail off at this point. Just pinch where the tail and the body meet and pull.
- To remove the vein (which isn’t actually a vein. It’s part of the shrimp’s digestive system.) make a shallow slit across the back of the shrimp and use the point of the knife to pull it out. Removing the vein is mostly for aesthetic reasons. It may be a little gritty if you bite into it, but mostly it’s just unsightly.
If you don’t want to do this with your fingers, you could use a pair of kitchen shears to cut along the back of the shell and pull it apart.
How do you saute Tuscan shrimp?
Shrimp is very quick cooking, but can easily become overcooked and rubbery.
Follow these directions for perfectly cooked shrimp every time. Use the same method when you make other easy shrimp recipes, such as my Easy Honey Garlic Shrimp:
- Season the shrimp first on both sides.
- Heat olive in your skillet to a medium high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, you know it is ready.
- Sear both sides of the shrimp. This will take about two minutes per side. The flesh of the shrimp will turn pink and opaque.
- Remove from the heat and let it rest. You’ll fix the creamy tomato sauce during this resting period.
- Return the shrimp to the pan to heat it through and cover it in sauce. This will only take about a minute.
What can I add to tomato sauce?
To make this classic Italian shrimp dish, you will make a creamy tomato sauce and serve it over pasta. The sauce makes it different from other shrimp or pasta dishes.
The Tuscan sauce is a combination of heavy cream, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan. This is much creamier than the classic pasta sauce. It will coat the shrimp and the noodles for great flavor in every bite. Enjoy!
Watch how to make this below!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes drained from oil
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Shrimp and Spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb medium sized shrimp peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 5 oz bag baby spinach about 3 cups
- 1/4 cup basil thinly sliced
- In a blender or food processor add the cream, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts and cheese. Blend until a thick paste forms. (See Note 1) Set aside.
- Season shrimp on both sides with the salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer add shrimp and sear both sides until golden, about 2 minutes each side (shrimp should be opaque). Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and sauté, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until spinach begins to wilt and water is released. Spread to outside of skillet, leaving center of pan open.
- Add tomato cream paste mixture to center of skillet and bring to a simmer. The thick tomato cream will begin to melt. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.
- Return shrimp to skillet and stir to combine all ingredients. Cook until shrimp are heated through, a minute. Season to taste and garnish with basil on top before serving over pasta of choice.
- Feel free to add the cream, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese in separately instead of blending. I just find the blender makes great work of chopping the tomatoes, walnuts and cheese easier than by hand and the paste is fantastic.