super easy pasta sauce {topped with shrimp… or not}

. . .

2.0 has been away on a golf trip. He goes every year with a ragtag group of other hairy, golf lovin’ creatures. I can only imagine what their rented condo smells like. It makes my eyes water.

When 2.0 goes away, I do my best to eat as much shrimp as possible. Because, as any true movita fan could tell you, he doesn’t like shrimp. Which is weird, right? I mean… he’s 40. Aren’t we supposed to be going to cocktail parties? And eating shrimp with cocktail sauce? (Wait. Is that why cocktail sauce is called cocktail sauce?) Also, I think we’re supposed to be drinking more scotch. Which is unfortunate, because in my mind that’s about the same as drinking turpentine. But I digress. This week is really all about the shrimp. And avocado. And goat cheese. And anything else 2.0 doesn’t like to eat.

So, with 2.0 gone and a reduced work schedule this coming week (Srping Break, mofos), I’ve been doing a lot of baking and photographing. The house looks like a Cooks Illustrated photo studio. The tripod has been standing at attention in the dining room, ready for duty on short notice. I’m pumping baked goods outta the kitchen like a freakin’ industrial sized bakery. It’s the shiz, shorty.

Also, I’ve been looking at real estate listings. Reading blogs. Contemplating a new dining room table. And watching a lot of true crime shows. Like, a lot. It’s a guilty pleasure. Do I want to know who bludgeoned small town America’s prom queen to death? Yah. I do. And yah, I knew it was the boyfriend. Because it’s always the boyfriend.

But just in case 2.0 reads this and thinks that I’m not missing him like crazy, I took the time to make a special pasta dish just for him. I’ll make him a big plateful when he returns. This is a pasta dish that can be topped with shrimp. Or not. Because some people don’t like shrimp. So you’re going to make the shrimp in a separate pan. That way, weirdos that don’t like shrimp don’t have to have any. And those of us that like it, can. This pasta sauce is garlicky and has a little basil injected into it. It’s only got five ingredients in it, and it couldn’t be any easier to make. Oh, and the addition of ricotta cheese just before serving makes this pasta sauce creamy and smooth. That’s just the kind of sauce 2.0 likes. Actually, this sauce is so easy and so tasty that it just might knock your stinky golf socks off. For reals.

. . .

Super Easy Pasta Sauce {Topped with Shrimp… or not} – print and make for someone you love (even if they don’t like shrimp)

For the pasta and sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute – until fragrant. Add the tomatoes (and their juice) and the basil, and cook until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking the tomatoes up with the back of a spoon.

As the sauce is simmering (about 15 minutes before serving time), cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside. As the pasta is cooking, prepare the shrimp (if using).

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, stir the ricotta cheese into the tomato sauce, and then immediately mix the sauce into the cooked pasta. Top with shrimp (if using, recipe below).

For the shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (if frozen, thaw before using)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the white wine and lemon juice. Add the shrimp, allowing it to cook for about two minutes on each side. Pluck the shrimp from the cooking fluids, and serve on top of pasta or eat straight from the pan.


  1. spree on March 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Ok, my version of 2.0 would love this. He loves shrimp, pasta, basil, ricotta (and basically all members of the cheese family), he is crazy nuts about garlic, and he likes turpentine, I mean scotch. Ok, I’m
    printing this! (And movita, I’m loving your photographs, but I’ll also really like your shrimp and pasta!)

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Sigh. Your photos are, like, the best ever, so I’m feeling totally flattered and very braggy. Also, when your 2.0 drinks scotch, does he drink it over ice in one of those lowball glasses? You know, like on shows from the 80’s? That would be so cool…

      • spree on March 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

        yes, he’s that cool…

  2. Bonnie on March 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    OMG, you have done it again but even better this time!

    LMAO (mofo)! Noticed that apparently, someone also likes to throw down the lingo while going solo, awesome.

    Those pictures are also quite lovely, are they not snapped with your new iPhone?

    BTW, pasta with shrimp looks absolutely delicious!

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

      No, these photos were not snapped with my iPhone. But I do like to tweet and instagram bazillions of cat photos from the aforementioned awesome-life-changing phone. Because I’m pretty sure people are just dyin’ to see what effie, niles and ebony are up to every day!

  3. ceciliag on March 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    This is a perfect sauce and our John LOVES shrimp, in fact it is his go to ingredient when he is cooking in a hurry, so big serving for us please with the shrimp! gorgeous shots but we know that!!! c

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Sometimes, after eating a pound of shrimp, I think: too much? Am I sick of it yet?

      And I never am.

  4. The Sundress Chef on March 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I seriously laughed out loud by this post – you put a smile on my face. Thanks for posting a great recipe!

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Yay! And I really like that you wrote out “laughed out loud.” Much better than the dreaded LOL. You are clearly sophisticated…

  5. Chocolate Chilli Mango® on March 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Ha! I have hated shrimp (prawns in my version of anglaise) my whole life. But I love cooking them. I ate two yesterday as a test and wow, not bad, really 😀

    This pasta sauce rocks!! I wish I didn’t live so far away … would love to come over and trial shrimp, eat lots of avocado (YUM) and goat cheese with you!

    Love this post…you are so entertaining and your photos are gorgeous (note envious tone) LOL


    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:33 am

      One day, because you are famous, you’ll be on some sort of world tour and you can stop by for dinner. I won’t cook healthy food, of course, so it will be fun to see if your body rejects it.

      Also, 2.0 hated lobster for the longest time. (Maybe because half of his family are lobster fishermen and he did the same for a while.) Anyhoo, for a long time that meant I could eat my lobster and also his lobster. It was a magical time. Recently, he has decided that lobster isn’t so bad after all. (Much like you with the prawns.) I guess what I’m saying is: maybe you and 2.0 should stop trying to broaden your horizons so I can eat your portions of shell fish…

  6. thekalechronicles on March 12, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Yum. I’ll have mine with the shrimp — and without the golf! Have you tried single malt Scotch (aka “the good stuff”): way better than any American thing that calls itself Scotch since the Scots invented it and know how to make it right. As far as I am concerned their only rivals are the Irish, whose version of whiskey is pretty good, too. Not that I’m a big drinker, but if I’m going to drink I want something tasty and it better not be white unless it’s tequila in a properly made margarita with the salt around the rim…

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

      I’ve heard that good quality scotch makes all the difference. I’ve heard it, and then ignored it.

      This is why I will never be sophisticated… sigh.

  7. twistedsistersdesign on March 12, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Yum! 🙂
    Hi, we wanted to let you know that we love your blog and that we nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Check it out here:

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

      This is the best ever. Because you guys are cool. And if you’re cool, that makes me cool by association. Yippie!

  8. Susi on March 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

    It sounds heavenly to this pasta lover and I think, I’ll have it with shrimp. Because I’m not a weirdo!!! 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

      I just knew you were smart. I just knew it!

  9. Ariane @ Bitchetarian on March 12, 2012 at 10:26 am


    Without the shrimp. I don’t eat things with faces. Even though shrimps have weird ugly little sort-of faces.

    Every time I make sauce of a tomato variety, it tastes like V8 and water. In case you’re confused, that’s not very good. From now on, I steal your shit.

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

      I can think of no one else I’d rather have stealing my shit.

      Or whatever else might sound less creepy than that.

  10. threeblondesandatomas on March 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

    your posts always make me laugh!! shrimp is a huge staple in our house, especially once the grill starts getting more attention with warmer weather, rather than it sitting in the back yard all by its lonesome looking very depressed like in the winter! AND, i’m a pasta freak to boot so this recipe rocks! cheers!

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Any house where shrimp is a staple sounds like a magical place to me. Long live The Prawn! (And also, long live pasta!)

  11. afternoondlite on March 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    seriously, I need to make this RIGHT NOW! pasta and prawns? marriage made in heaven! get in! 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Right? I mean what’s not to love about filling your face with a little pasta-prawn combo? Deeeelightful!

  12. frugalfeeding on March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    This looks wonderful, I totally know I would love it – so simple, yet you just know it’s going to be delicious – wonderful, Movita 😀

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

      You can repay me for this little gem by making me a birthday cake. I’m just sayin’…

  13. Mama's Gotta Bake on March 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Wow! Wish i was having that for dinner tonight!

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Tee hee! If only I hadn’t scarfed back all the leftovers…

  14. Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) on March 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    great sauce recipe! thanks for sharing!

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Thanks for poppin’ by for a visit…

  15. Eggton on March 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    I tried to play golf once. My friend gave me her set of golf clubs after I helped her move (or maybe we just forgot to unload them from my car on one of the moving trips. Whatever.) So I signed up for a 1-hr. golf intro class, which turned out to be 1 hr. spent in the middle of a field with an old man who might have been drunk, getting bitten by a swarming mass of mosquitoes. It was one of the worst sporting experiences of my life, and that includes the time I almost drowned at sailing camp when I was 16 (I was a late bloomer, my mom said, so I went to camp ONCE, when I was way too old to go.)

    To wrap up: I eat shrimp but Scott doesn’t, so the variations you made will come in handy. Ricotta cheese is one of my favorite things in the world– I’m so glad there’s some in there, because it looks delicious.

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

      I need to tell you: 2.0 would like us to LIVE ON A GOLF COURSE. In fact, we’ve been looking at HOUSES ON GOLF COURSES. I don’t golf. I have no sporting ability. Also, I think people who golf probably like scotch (which might explain that old golf pro’s situation during your golf lesson), and I’m betting that all of our neighbours will have cocktail parties and I won’t fit in. It’s going to be like high school all over again…

  16. Laura Leigh Goyer on March 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    This looks delicious! I’d love to know how you created the “print and make for someone you love” link.

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Well, I just type up the recipes, save ’em as a pdf and load them onto the site! Easy as pie… No – easier than pie!

  17. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen on March 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I’m a little afraid of competition. No, rephrase: I’m a little afraid of losing. Ok, last rephrase: GAWD I WANT TO WIN. I’ll stick with that. I’m going to try and bake a cake. It’s been long overdue, a cake for ya! (I love shrimps and avocado btw)

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Oh, this is good news. No, fantastic news! I bet your cake will be the bomb. And I HAVE been waiting for you to bake me a cake for quite some time now. Just sayin’…

  18. Lan on March 13, 2012 at 11:44 am

    your honey doesn’t like shrimp, mine doesn’t like spaghetti noodles. we have other pasta varieties but my fave is the spaghetti noodle. that’s weird, right? that he does NOT like the most popular pasta shape.

    so i made this sauce, it would have to be with penne or shells or pinwheels {shudder}

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

      PINWHEELS? Holy crow. You’ve got to address this problem… I’m going to have to assume that your honey has other redeeming qualities. I mean, he probably likes kittens and puppies… that almost makes up for the spaghetti thing. Right?

  19. glutenfreezen on March 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Gorgeous, and I happen to LOVE shrimp. 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Well, they ARE gluten free… tee hee!

  20. Dee at Deelicious Sweets on March 14, 2012 at 12:23 am

    My hubby doesn’t like blue cheese – boo! He does like shrimp though, and basil. He would love this dish! I shall make it for him as I do love him.

    • movita beaucoup on March 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Oh, I forgot about blue cheese. 2.0 doesn’t like that either! Thank goodness yer hubby likes shrimp – that basically cancels out the blue cheese aversion!

  21. freespiriteater on March 14, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I LOVE shrimp pasta! I can’t get enough of it. I love that you’ve made a super simple dish that still looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  22. emmalina73 on March 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I was thinking of your awesome self the other day and daydreaming about buying your first cookery book in Chapters. I had a couple of copies and I said to the girl behind the counter “That’ my friend, she wrote this!” It was as real as anything.

    Can’t wait until it is true! I’m also looking forward to sitting and chatting over cake and tea in your own bakery, laughing our heads off and scoffing yummy treats. It’s the future baby I’m tellin’ ya ; )

    So proud of my clever friend I am.

    • movita beaucoup on March 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I like that you call them “cookery books.” It makes what will be, in all likelihood, a book that I print off on my computer and then photocopy at Kinko’s, sound very sophisticated. Just like when we are scoffing yummy treats at my bakery. I mean, who cares if we’ve icing all over our faces?


      • emmalina73 on March 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

        Well if we don’t have icing on our faces how will people know to envy us?!

  23. elizabeth on April 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Oh my–this looks absolutely delightful and perfectly timed–I’m gathering recipes for some upcoming single-person dinners and this is just what I like–particularly the ricotta. My husband hates the stuff (yeah, I don’t know either) so this is a great way to treat myself! I’m so glad I found your blog–thanks for friend-requesting me on Foodbuzz–can’t wait to catch up on older posts.

  24. Sara Elisabeth Moon on July 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm


    • movita beaucoup on July 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Sara, I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I really can’t tell you what substitutions might work here. I don’t recommend things I haven’t tried myself, and I find the ricotta works very well in this recipe. There are so many fabulous recipes out there that I’d actually recommend just finding something else to munch on – trust me, there are some amazing pasta sauces out there!

      (Also, you are not weird for hating ricotta!)

  25. movita beaucoup on June 2, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in March 2012. Happy cooking!