The Greek-inspired shrimp and ouzo sauce for this fast pasta dish comes together while the water for the pasta boils. Simply sauté red onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to create the base of the sauce, add in the shrimp, and finish with a hit of anise-flavored ouzo and chopped fresh tomatoes. When the pasta is ready, add the sauce and toss in feta and olives for a salty, briny finish to a quick and flavorful weeknight meal.

What to buy: Ouzo is a clear, slightly sweet, anise-flavored liqueur from Greece, available at Greek markets and some liquor stores. Once you have a whole bottle, use it up by adding some to an after-dinner coffee drink, making a refreshing Melon Dip Cocktail, or substituting it for Pernod in this recipe for steamed mussels.

  • Yields: 4 to 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 30 mins 

Ingredients (11)

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound short pasta, such as fusilli or penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, medium dice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup ouzo
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes (about 4 medium), cored and medium dice
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce and shrimp.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, increase the heat to medium high, and stir to combine. Pat the shrimp into an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re almost cooked through and starting to turn pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, carefully add the ouzo, and return to medium-high heat. Cook until the alcohol smell has cooked off and the liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are warmed through and the liquid is simmering around the edges, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the shrimp mixture to the pot with the reserved pasta and add the feta and olives. Stir to combine, taste, and season with salt as needed. Serve immediately.