If you remember my recent post, I started rambling on about giant shrimp. I love shrimp but I always look for two things before buying them. They have to be big, bad ass shrimp and they can’t have any sodium bisulfite added to them.

Giant shrimp simmered in a garlic tomato sauce

Sodium Bisulfite is a chemical that keeps the shrimp looking dapper for a longer time. The downside to this is that they taste like bleach, even after cooking and seasoning. Usually these SB free shrimp are a little pricier but well worth the extra dollars. So what did i do with my shrimp? I simmered them in a deep, dark tomato sauce filled with Pancetta and roasted garlic cloves, yes I did!

The idea came from an Italian restaurant I ate at recently. Aldo’s in Santa Barbara serve a dish filled with calamari and it was so good I almost licked the damn plate. You should really try making a tomato sauce from scratch, I know there’s so many choices on the shelves but it’s easy, cheap and you’ll feel all proud when you serve it. Double up this recipe for another time and mix it through some penne.

Juicy shrimp and roasted garlic cloves

I used a 6 inch skillet for this recipe so it’s like an appetizer that can be shared. I think roasting the garlic first made a difference, It’s an extra step but you can’t rush awesomeness, when those garlic cloves become golden and chewy you know we’re not messing around. San Marzano Tomatoes are always my first choice because of their flavor. The problem is, they only come in large 28 ounce cans so you’ll have some leftover after making this. Wait…you could just make it twice!

Roasted garlic cloves in a tomato sauce with giant shrimp

Roasted garlic cloves in a tomato sauce with giant shrimp

More killer roasted garlic dishes from the foodie world!

Sally’s Baking Addiction- Roasted Garlic Parmesan Hummus

Just a Taste- Baked Asparagus Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli

White On Rice Couple- Roasted Garlic


Giant shrimp simmered in a roasted garlic tomato sauce

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce with Juicy Shrimp

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Author: Gerry Speirs
Giant juicy shrimp simmered in a Pancetta and roasted garlic tomato sauce.
Print Recipe


  • 1 in garlic bulb sliced half horizontally.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • A pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons diced Pancetta
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup San Marzano Plum Tomatoes crushed plus 8 tablespoons of the juice *see notes*
  • 6 large shrimp peeled but tails left on
  • Fresh Parmesan and basil for garnishing


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place one half of the garlic bulb in the skillet you're going to use (sliced part facing up)
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the garlic and bake in the oven for 35 minutes and golden brown.
  • Once the garlic has been cooked, saute the diced shallot until soft.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the bulb and add them to the shallot.
  • Add the oregano, pepper flakes and Pancetta and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and juice and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. Test the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you prefer.
  • Place the shrimp into the sauce and cook until they just turn pink.
  • Grate some of the Parmesan over the shrimp and garnish with shreds of fresh basil.
  • Serve at once with some crusty bread sticks or baguette slices.


The tomatoes may come whole in the can. You can use your hands to crush them gently. There will be leftovers because the can size is 28 ounces. I use these tomatoes because I prefer the flavor, but if you don't wish to have any leftovers you can buy a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes instead and add all of it to the skillet.