Trenne with Shrimp Bolognese

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

My shrimp Bolognese might raise a few eyebrows in Emilia-Romagna, where a Bolognese sauce is always made with meat and simmered for hours. Obviously I’ve taken a few liberties, but I’ve done so in the interest of producing a fast and delicious pasta sauce in the same style. My version uses the Bolognese technique of chopping the meat—or, in this case, shellfish-finely, but then it departs from the classic. Instead of tossing the sauce with pasta, try it as a lasagne filling or serve it underneath a fillet of sauteed whitefish. Trenne look a lot like penne, but the tubes are triangular instead of round. You might find the shape in a store specializing in Italian food products; if not, substitute penne or another short pasta.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Textureherby, light, savory, winey

Type of Dishdry pasta, pasta, pasta sauce, sauces, seafood sauce


  • 1½ pounds jumbo shrimp in the shell
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, each torn into 2 or 3 pieces
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup Marinara Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¾ pound trenne, penne, or other dried short pasta


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. Chop the shrimp finely. Put the shells in a saucepan with enough water just to cover them. Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Strain and discard the solids. Reserve the broth.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add the basil and the red pepper flakes and allow them to crackle in the hot oil for about 15 seconds.

  4. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add the Marinara Sauce and ¾ cup of the reserved shrimp broth and simmer for another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then stir in the parsley and the butter. The sauce should be brothy, as the pasta will absorb some of the liquid. Keep the sauce warm over low heat while you cook the pasta.

  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is just shy of al dente, then drain and return to the warm pot over moderate heat. Add the sauce and cook briefly so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.


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I'm no professional chef, but I do love great Italian food products haha. I'm looking forward to having my wife make this Trenne with Shrimp Bolognese for the family this weekend. If you know of any other great Italian recipes let me know. Thanks


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