Capellini with Shrimp, Bacon & Tomato

Capellini with Shrimp, Bacon & Tomato


Capellini with Shrimp, Bacon & Tomato

Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes (depends on your shrimp prep skills)

Cook time: 35 minutes

Eighth recipe posted, short term goal achieved

When the wild caught, shell on shrimp are on sale have to get at least half a pound

Saving the shells up for shrimp stock in a Ziploc

Bag about to bust so making stock is a must

If there are four lines in italics above this line that means I slept on it and decided not to delete them before publishing this recipe. Wow. Sanity check, please. 

This is indeed the eighth recipe posted. It also the second recipe with shrimp, the second recipe with bacon and the third seafood recipe. And it is true that I should make a shrimp stock soon. I do recommend that you start saving your shrimp shells in a freezer safe Ziploc bag so that you can make a shrimp stock. The day you cook this dish is a good day to start that habit. 

Let's talk about the pasta. Capellini is a thin noodle, and according to the google search I just did capellini is slightly thicker than angel hair. If you can't find capellini, angel hair is a fine substitute. Usually pasta comes in a 16 oz package and for this recipe you only need to use half of the package. 

Let's talk about the bacon fat. After you crisp up the lardons, leaving most of the fat behind is essential for the "sauce" we are making. If I asked you to remove all of the bacon fat I would have to ask you to add butter or olive oil another step to compensate.

The paprika that is added to the shrimp is for color more than anything else. Once you add the onions to the pan you should see that they pick up some nice color pretty quickly due to the paprika left behind from the shrimp. 

Ideally, you can time it so that the pasta finishes cooking just in time to add it to the sauce. If you feel like you can do that go ahead. In order to reduce any stress in the kitchen, however, the instructions for this recipe are to cook the pasta before finishing the sauce so that multi-tasking isn't required. If you do that, please toss the pasta is a bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from clumping together. If you don't they will indeed clump. 

Let's talk about the wine. The wine you use in this recipe should also be consumed while you eat the fruits of your labor. You should be able to get something pretty solid in the $12 - $15 range. I always default to asking for help. Just follow this script – Hi I'm looking for a white wine under $15 to have with a pasta dish with shrimp and tomatoes...


  • Dinner for two


  • 2 slices of Bacon (or pancetta), cut into lardons
  • 1/2 pound wild caught, shell on shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced (quarter moons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20-25 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 7 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 8oz Capellini 
  • 1 Lemon - Juice from 1/2 lemon, & zest for plating
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper (optional)

Mise en place

(Set yourself up for success before you start cooking)

  • Slice the onion
    • Slice the onion in half through the root.
    • Lay one half cut side down and slice the tip of the onion that is opposite the root.
    • Then remove the skin and peel off the outermost layer of the onion.
    • Then slice that half in half, but don't cut through the root! Then thinly slice the onion. (see images below)
  • Rinse and halve the cherry tomatoes
  • Rinse the basil
  • Rinse the lemon (since we are using the zest)
  • Peel & devein the shrimp. 
    • Click here and Gordon Ramsay will teach you.
      • Picture are also below to show what you need to do. 
  • Slice the bacon into lardons
    • I used black forest bacon since it is my favorite. 


Step 1

Cook bacon over medium high heat until it is crispy. This will probably take around 8 minutes. While the bacon is cooking, season the shrimp in small bowl with the paprika, freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of kosher salt and dash or two of cayenne pepper. Stir with a spoon or fork and set aside. The cayenne is entirely optional, and you can omit it if you are sensitive to heat.  

Step 2

Line a plate with paper towels. When the bacon is crispy spoon the bacon onto the plate so that we are leaving most of the bacon fat in the pan. Leaving the fat behind is essential for the "sauce" we are making.

Step 2

Fill your pot with water and put it on to boil.

Step 3

Cook the shrimp - Cook on the first side for 1 minute, flip all shrimp and cook for another 30 seconds. Put shrimp on a plate or in a bowl and set aside. At this point the shrimp will not be fully cooked. That is okay, they will finish cooking later.

Step 4

Add the onion to the pan along with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the onion begins to caramelize, approximately 5 minutes.  While the onion is cooking mince the garlic (unless you are using a garlic press) and cut the lemon in half. 

Step 5

Add the garlic and stir. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the tomatoes and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Cover and reduce heat to low. After 3 minutes, remove the lid and stir. Cook uncovered for another 2 minutes. The tomatoes will have softened and released their liquid. Put the lid back on and remove the pan from the heat.

Step 6

Cook and strain the Capellini. This is a thin noodle so it should only take around 3 minutes to cook. Toss in a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. 

Ideally, you can time it so that the pasta finishes cooking right when we need to add it to the sauce. 

Step 7

Add the white wine to the pan and crank heat up to high. Let is simmer for 2 minutes. While the wine is simmering chiffonade 5 of the basil leaves.

After the wine has simmered, add the shrimp, the bacon (or pancetta or sausage), and those 5 basil leaves. Reduce heat to medium and stir well. Add the pasta and stir well so that you are coating each noodle with the sauce. A small pair of tongs might be helpful for this task, especially if the noodles are clumping together. 

Step 8

Plate. Add noodles to each bowl, divide the shrimp evenly, then add the rest of what is left in the pan (onion, bacon, tomato) on the top of everything. Finish with some lemon zest, a generous drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil and some basil (go head and chiffonade those remaining 2 leaves).