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Thai-Style Shrimp Pasta with Tomato-Lime-Peanut Sauce

Thai-Style Shrimp Pasta with Tomato-Lime-Peanut Sauce
I've been inspired by the food we've been eating lately at Green Elephant, the self-described "Asian-influenced vegetarian bistro" around the corner in this food-obsessed town. While not a vegetarian I am an appreciator of tasty food so we keep going back and I keep coming home from Green Elephant with new ideas to try.  

This is an easy and quick weekday supper recipe, done in about 25 minutes, and the cilantro-lime-tomato-peanut combination is an especially seductive sauce for shrimp and pasta. While Thai food can be extremely high on the heat index, this dish works well with the peppers dialed back (though of course I have no problem with the flaming-lips approach, if that's what floats your boat).

Thai-Style Shrimp Pasta with Tomato-Lime-Peanut Sauce

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4 servings


  • 1 pound shrimp (shells on)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces uncooked dry pasta (see note, below)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced 

For the sauce: 

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped


1. Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside. 

2. Peel the shrimp, rinse them and then dry them well. Set aside. 

3. Boil a pot of salted water – at least 4 quarts – and add the pasta, giving it a big stir. 

4. Place the olive oil in a heavy skillet on high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, scatter in the shrimp. Allow to cook undisturbed for 60 seconds. Turn shrimp, scatter in the minced garlic, and cook another 30 seconds. 

5. Add the sauce mixture to the shrimp and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.

6. When the pasta is about ready turn the heat under the skillet to medium-high. With tongs, lift the cooked pasta directly from the cooking water into the skillet, allowing a little water to ride along. Cook for about a minute while using the tongs to toss and turn the pasta to coat it with sauce. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle the lime juice and cilantro over the pasta and serve immediately. 

Note. I use Dreamfields brand pasta which claims a lower effective carbohydrate load (11 g per serving vs. 49 g per serving with conventional pasta). This doesn't change the other counts significantly -- see the Nutritional Estimates for details. 

Nutritional Estimate:  (With Dreamfields Pasta) 4 Servings. Per serving: 356 g Calories; 11 g Total Carbs; 4 g Dietary Fiber; 3 g Sugars; 7 g Fat; 129 mg Cholesterol; 441 mg Sodium; 20 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 7 points. 

Nutritional Estimate:  (With Conventional Pasta) 4 Servings. Per serving: 374 g Calories; 49 g Total Carbs; 3 g Dietary Fiber; 4 g Sugars; 7 g Fat; 129 mg Cholesterol; 434 mg Sodium; 28 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 7 points.

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I made this last evening and it was awesome! Thank you for sharing :)

Love this recipe I've used several times with some adjustments. I usually use 12 ounces of pasta, double the sauce and use crunchy peanut butter for a little extra texture. Thanks a lot!!!

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