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Spaghetti with Shrimp, Tomatoes and White Wine

4 to 6 Servings

45 minutes

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In Venice, Italy, cookbook author Marika Contaldo Seguso taught us to make a regional classic, scampi alla busara. Large, sweet, shell-on prawns are bathed in a sauce made with fresh tomatoes and flavored with a splash of white wine, smashed garlic cloves and a sprinkling of pepper flakes. She paired her scampi alla busara with al dente pasta, a terrifically delicious, though not strictly traditional, combination. We adapted Seguso’s recipe using shelled shrimp in place of the prawns; to build flavor into our sauce, we briefly simmer the shrimp tails in the wine reduction, then remove them before the tomatoes are added.

4 to 6



Don’t use more than 3 quarts of water to boil the spaghetti. The aim is for the pasta water to be extra-starchy, as some of it is reserved (don’t forget to set aside about 1 cup before draining) and used near the end of cooking to give the sauce some clingability. Also, don’t boil the spaghetti until al dente. Drain it when it’s just shy of al dente, as it will finish cooking directly in the sauce.

45 minutes


  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Dennis D.
September 7, 2022
Silky sauce
This looked great as written. Having said that, I tweaked it a tad, using halved cherry tomatoes and a touch of tomato paste, and using shrimp shells to create broth for spaghetti water. Yum!
Raymond H.
August 30, 2022
Perfect Summer Garden Option
This one is a keeper! I usually do my shrimp pasta “Bianco,” no tomatoes. But it’s the heart of summer and we had some great “cour de bue” Italian plum tomatoes bursting from our garden. And some great gulf coast shrimp - never frozen - from Osprey Market here in Napa Valley. Tasted like a trip to Venezia! Perfecto! As is. As I said, going into my “keeper recipes” for summer! Awesome Milkstreet.
Jim K.
July 23, 2022
Bright, Light Flavors and Spice
Easy with bright flavor and light spice.
Ryan M.
June 28, 2022
Light and fresh
Dish is excellent, except it desperately needs acid. I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon at the end and that brought all the flavors out and married them together perfectly.
Janet M.
February 25, 2023
Good technique to follow with a few tweaks.
I’d skip the sugar. I thought it was too sweet. Squeezed a lemon on at the table for brightness and acidity. All in all, a good recipe for technique and a recipe is just a guide. So tweak away!