Tomato Prawn Pasta


A simple selection of ingredients come together to create this beautiful tomato prawn pasta!

As I type this in the middle of April, today we’ve had the first ‘whiff’ of Spring/Summer, so it’s time to whip out one of my favourite meals to make as the weather gets warmer. Follow me…

tomato and prawn pasta served on small white plate with silver fork

Prawn Pasta (aka Shrimp Pasta)

For this recipe we’ll be using fresh king prawns. I typically just grab some from the supermarket, which already come shelled and deveined.

Preparing the prawns

There are two important steps to prepping the prawns before you cook them:

  1. Dry – The prawns will likely be stored in a bit of brine. You’ll want to pat the prawns completely dry before you fry them. Removing excess moisture will prevent the prawns from steaming and will help them pick up some colour (i.e. flavour) in the pan.
  2. Seasoning – Season the prawns with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. They don’t need any other seasonings; just some salt and pepper to bring out the natural deliciousness of the prawn.

Cooking the prawns

Prawns cook very quickly, so we’re going to pan-fry them in a nice hot pan. They won’t take long, and they’ll carry on cooking slightly as they rest and when they’re added back into the pan. Try to avoid them curling up into an ‘O’ shape as this typically means they’re overcooked. A tight(ish) ‘C’ shape with some colour on each side is what you’re aiming for.

Process shots: pat prawns dry (photo 1), season (photo 2), fry both sides in pan then remove (photos 3&4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare prawns for pasta

Tomato and Prawn Pasta

There are not too many ingredients in the sauce, but each one plays an important role in building flavour. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter – Adds richness to the sauce and is used to fry the garlic and chilli flakes.
  • Garlic – Garlic + prawns = heaven.
  • Chilli – Adds a gentle warmth to the sauce.
  • Wine – Adds a very subtle background flavour. I love using Rosé!
  • Tomatoes – I use baby plum tomatoes, but you could use cherry tomatoes.
  • Basil – A final hit of flavour that binds all the above ingredients together. Must be fresh!

Sauce consistency

This isn’t a saucy pasta, but the butter, tomato juice and wine come together to create a lovely light, glossy sauce. It’ll be a little watery at first, but as you toss the pasta the excess starchy water will help bind and thicken the sauce.

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry chilli flakes and garlic (photo 2), reduce wine (photo 3), fry tomatoes (photo 4), toss in pasta (photo 5), toss in basil and prawns (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make tomato prawn pasta

Tomato Prawn Pasta FAQ

Can I use frozen prawns?

Yes – you’ll just need to thaw them beforehand.

What kind of pasta should I use?

I love using tagliatelle, but any long-cut pasta will do the trick.

Can this be reheated?

This is best made fresh. Prawns do not reheat well! It does come together very quickly though 😇

close up shot of tomato prawn pasta in pan

Serving Tomato Prawn Pasta

I love plating up with some extra basil and chilli flakes, alongside some fresh grated parmesan. You could add some Garlic Bread if you fancy too. Serve up hot right away!

For the sister recipe to this dish check out my Creamy Prawn Linguine. Also check out my Garlic Butter Prawn Orzo!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this tomato prawn pasta shall we?!

overhead shot of prawn tomato pasta on small white plate on wooden chopping board with silver fork

How to make Tomato Prawn Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)

tomato and prawn pasta served on small white plate with silver fork


Tomato Prawn Pasta

A simple selection of ingredients come together to create this beautiful tomato prawn pasta!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 706kcal
Cost £4 / $5


  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Kitchen Roll/Paper Towels
  • Large Pot & Tongs
  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon


  • 200g / 7oz dry Tagliatelle, or other long-cut pasta
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 150-200g / 5-7oz raw peeled King Prawns/Shrimp (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp / 45g Butter
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to spice preference (start if with less if at all wary)
  • 80ml / 1/3 cup Rosé Wine (see notes)
  • 250g / 9oz Baby Plum Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 small bunch of Fresh Basil, roughly diced
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed
  • Parmesan, to serve (optional but recommended)


  • Add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Don't drain.
  • Pat the prawns dry then season them all over with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, spread out the prawns and leave for 1 minute. Flip them over and fry for a further minute until golden on the other side and just about cooked through. Remove them from the pan.
  • Lower the heat slightly, melt in the butter then add the garlic and chilli flakes. Fry for 10-30 seconds (careful the garlic doesn't burn). Pour in the wine and simmer to reduce for 2 minutes (important to burn off alcohol). Use your wooden spoon to deglaze the pan as needed.
  • Add in the tomatoes, season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then fry 2 minutes until they start to soften and leak out their juices. Use your tongs to transfer the cooked pasta straight from the pot into the pan.
  • Toss to coat in the sauce, then toss in the basil and prawns (alongside any resting juices). Continue tossing until you create a glossy sauce that's no longer watery (thin out with a splash of pasta water if you need to). Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. You can also add some more chilli flakes if you'd like.
  • Serve with a few pinches of basil and some parmesan if desired.



a) Prawns – Most pre-packed prawns will come ready to cook (deveined etc). You can use frozen, just make sure you thaw them first. They won’t take long to cook, so a short high-heat fry will do the trick. Try to avoid them curling up into an ‘O’ shape as this typically means they’re overcooked. A tight(ish) ‘C’ shape with some colour on each side is what you’re aiming for.

b) Wine – The simmering time is important to reduce the wine and burn off the alcohol. The flavour ends up very subtle, but still worth adding. I don’t drink wine so I just buy the mini bottles. I haven’t tried this with white wine but I imagine it’ll make a great sub.

c) Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes will work great too. Don’t completely soften them before you add the pasta otherwise they’ll turn to mush. Just until they begin to wilt and leak their juices.

d) Chilli Flakes – Depending on the brand 1/4 tsp gives a warmth to the dish, but nothing crazy. If you’re wary just start off with less as you can always add more.

e) Consistency – The sauce will be a little watery once you add the pasta, but as you toss everything, the excess starchy pasta water will emulsify with the butter/tomato juice to create a nice glossy sauce. If it dries out too quickly just add in a splash of pasta water to thin out as needed.

f) Calories – Whole dish divided by 2 assuming 165g prawns and no parmesan.


Calories: 706kcal | Carbohydrates: 87.67g | Protein: 23.47g | Fat: 27.46g | Saturated Fat: 12.478g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.719g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10.177g | Trans Fat: 0.72g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 836mg | Potassium: 732mg | Fiber: 12.6g | Sugar: 3.73g | Vitamin A: 2073IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1.77mg


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