Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Back to the blog! School is crazy busy, so it doesn’t leave a lot of time to cook, take pictures and then write a post. I have been stockpiling a lot of pictures of different things that I make so that I can roll them out when I get a chance. So, I’m taking a quick study break from all the bugs and drugs we’ve been reviewing. Don’t worry, I’ll spare the details that would ruin most people’s appetites! This is a recipe that I have been making for many years. I adapted the recipe from Giada’s Everyday Italian Cookbook, which I received as a graduation present from my good friend Lauren when I finished at the University of Wisconsin. What I love about this recipe is that it is one of those recipes that taste way more complex than it is to make. It’s incredibly easy and tastes fresh and delicious. As many of you know by now, I am a fan of a bit of a kick and this can definitely have a kick to it if you add enough red chili flakes. “Fra Diavolo” means “brother devil,” which describes its signature kick. However, if you have a more delicate palate you can just scale back the red pepper flakes a bit; it really is not an overwhelming spice. Any time I have made this recipe it is a fan favorite. Everyone has almost always gone back for seconds. I made this recently and the leftovers have been great throughout the week for lunch or dinner. I typically use spaghetti, but have also used angel hair in the past.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This recipe is a great way to use some fresh basil and parsley. Chiffonade may sound like some crazy fancy term, but don’t be deterred, because it is as simple as stacking the leaves, rolling them up, and thinly slicing the roll. I usually make this with shrimp, but have also made it with chicken breast by thinly slicing one pound of chicken breast.

  • 2/3 pounds spaghetti
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade (see note)
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove over high heat so that it will come to a boil while you prepare the rest of the meal. In a bowl, mix the shrimp, salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside while you heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil has heated, add the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, wine, garlic and dried oregano. Simmer the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. While the sauce is simmering you can cook the spaghetti. Add the shrimp back to the sauce and toss to coat. When the spaghetti is al dente, reserve about a 1/2 cup of the water and transfer the cooked spaghetti to the sauce. Toss to coat and add the reserved pasta water. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, tossing spaghetti and sauce regularly. Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs. Give the spaghetti a final toss to distribute the herbs evenly. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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