Pasta and a Delicious Grape Sauce

Thanks to Susan Volland’s book that I received from the California Table Grape Commission I have discovered a whole new world of possibilities using grapes. Who would’ve thought grapes were so versatile in the kitchen. As part of the change in my eating habits in order to lose weight and live a healthier life I have been trying to eat bigger breakfasts and lunches and smaller dinners. An old saying in Mexico says that if you want to lose weight you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a vassal and dinner like an indigent. Since your metabolism slows down as the day progresses that saying kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?

I turned to Volland’s book a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for ideas for a balanced lunch. I stumbled upon a recipe called Seared Shrimp with Grapes, Citrus and Rum. As soon as I read the title I knew I wanted to try it. I did some changes to it, though. I had just some leftover medium size shrimp so I added some chicken breast strips previously cooked, sautéed broccoli and pasta al dente. This is the original Volland’s recipe:

Pasta with Seared Shrimp, Grapes, Citrus and Rum
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • •12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • •1/4 teaspoon salt
  • •1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • •2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • •1 cup red grapes, sliced
  • •1 tablespoon slivered lime zest
  • •1 jalapeno pepper sliced into slivers
  • •1 teaspoon slivered ginger
  • •3 tablespoons dark rum
  • •2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • •1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1. Pat the shrimp dry and season with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet or saute pan over meduim-high heat.
  3. Sear the shrimp in the hot oil until they are bright pink and curling, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the grapes, lemon zest, lime zest, jalapeno and ginger.
  5. Pour on the rum, being careful to keep your hands and face away from any flame. Simmer for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice and lime juice and simmer until the sauce is slightly syrupy and the shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.


I really enjoyed this dish. The sweet flavors of the grapes and brown sugar combined perfectly with the citrus flavors with just a small spicy touch of the jalapeno and since I served this with pasta none of the flavors were overwhelming. If you want more recipes using grapes head over to The Calfornia Table Grape Comission website or to your favorite bookstore for Susan Volland’s cookbook, Green Black Red. Recipes for cooking and enjoying California grapes.

I am sending this post to Ruth’s weekly event Presto Pasta Nights, one of my favorite food events on the blog-o-sphere. I was away for a while but I am back with more delicious pasta recipes for the roundups.

Buen provecho!


  • BEn that looks absolutely divine. I would never have thought of adding grapes to my pasta but – it works!

  • This looks absolutely wonderful! I’ve to to try it.

  • How intersting . A new twist on using grapes.

  • I love the sound of this dish Ben. An interesting way to cook with grapes. Its funny I never ever thought about using them as a savoury item.

  • This is something i wouldn’t have thought of, but it looks delicious, Ben! I wish i could eat a larger breakfast, but I’m just not that hungry in the mornings.

  • I like the idea of using grapes this way.

  • Ben what a fantastic looking dish. I can’t wait to try it…and the Mexican saying about large breakfasts, small dinners…fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights and the kind words about it. Hope to see you and your dishes often.

  • Looks delicious Ben! I’m loving the addition of grapes. I’ve never added grapes to a savory meal, but I’m sure the small burst of sweetness would be a great addition.

  • That looks good! I would never have thought to use grapes in a dish like this.

  • Yum…Yum! I love grapes with chicken but never considered using them with seafood, but it sure makes sense to me!

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