Recipe File: Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Armed with my fresh shrimp from Saturday’s farmer’s market, Sunday dinner meant an Italian feast highlighting the star ingredient. After a weekend celebrating my brother’s golden birthday (29 on the 29th) and soaking up every second outside enjoying the perfect weather, I was fairly tired by Sunday night. Luckily, shrimp is such an easy and quick protein to cook it makes for a no fuss dinner choice. For my shrimp dish, I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo, which is the ‘devil’s shrimp’ complete with a tomato based spicy sauce. I made a variation on a recipe that I first tried a while ago because when tired, you might as well go with something you know! Also, since this cedar fever has my sinus array my normally timid spiciness meter can handle heat right now. Normally, this style of shrimp has fewer vegetables than what I added, but I like throwing in more to my dishes to get some extra nutrients in, especially when atoning for the weekend’s sinful foods! I served it with lemon pasta, which was just angel hair with a light sauce which provides a nice balance to a stronger pasta sauce. On the side, I made broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and kale that has a softer flavor than normal broccoli (which I am not a huge fan of). Enjoy!


For the recipes…

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

 Adapted version from the classic preparation – I add more vegetables.

 1 pound of shrimp, shelled and devined

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes

1 can diced tomatoes

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon capers

1 large tomato (optional)

1 sweet yellow onion, sliced into thin rings

½ red bell pepper, sliced and quartered (optional)

1 cup frozen green peas (optional)

3 basil leaves, chopped

2 sprigs fresh oregano

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper

In a large bowl toss the shrimp with chili pepper flakes and small amount of lemon juice. In a large sauté pan, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil to medium high heat. Add the garlic. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Toss the shrimp and continue cooking until curled and pink, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, place on a separate dish and set aside.

In the same pan, add the onion, bell pepper and ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Continue to cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the capers.

Add the can of tomatoes, including the canning liquids. Bring to a boil. Add the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, and wine, continuing to cook for 1 minute. Add the fresh tomato and peas. Continue to stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for about 8-10 minutes. For extra spice, you can add more chili pepper flakes here. Once sauce has slightly thickened and cooked through, add the shrimp and fresh herbs. Toss the mixture and cook for about 1 more minute to fully incorporate the shrimp in the sauce. Remove and serve with lemon pasta; recipe found below.

Lemon Angel Hair Pasta

 1 juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons of lemon zest

1/3 – ½ cup parmesan reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped; The store was out of parsley so I used green onions, but parsley would be better

3 basil leaves, chiffoned

¼ cup olive oil                

Fresh Angel Hair pasta

1 cup pasta water

 Boil pasta according to directions, about 2-3 minutes (cooks fast – be careful!). While the pasta cooks, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan, and parsley. Drain pasta, reserving of 1 cup of the pasta water. Quickly toss the olive oil mixture with the pasta. If the pasta clumps together, add ¼ of the pasta water and continue to toss. Continue process until desired consistency. You can also add more olive oil, about ½ tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle the lemon zest and basil over the pasta. Add more cheese if so desired. Serve as a side dish or under seafood or chicken.


Broccolini with breadcrumbs

 Adapted from Food & Wine. Specifically, from Gail Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine.

 Serves 4

2 slices of good white bread

1 large lemon

Chili pepper flakes, about 1 teaspoon, more if desired

2 teaspoons of lemon zest

½ tablespoon of butter – The original recipe calls for more butter so feel free to add; I thought this amount plus cooking spray was fine.

½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 shallot

2 bunches of broccolini

Grey or Sea Salt

In a food processor, pulse bread to form large breadcrumbs. (Note: you can buy fresh breadcrumbs if you do not have a food processor.) In a sauté pan heated to medium, melt the butter and add breadcrumbs. Sauté breadcrumbs until golden and toasted. Remove from heat and add lemon zest, chili pepper flakes, and salt to taste.  Place on a plate to cool and wipe out the sauté pan.


While the breadcrumbs cook, boil pot of water and cook broccolini for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender, but crisp. Remove from the water and immediately drain and run cold water over broccolini to keep from continuing to cook.


In the same sauté pan, cook the chopped shallot in olive oil at medium high for about 1 minute. Add broccolini and sauté until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and place on serving dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture and serve with lemon slices. Best served immediately.

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