The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Shrimp Fra Diavolo’

Linguine with Shrimp, Fra Diavolo

In Pasta, Recipes, Seafood, Shrimp on July 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine

(Serves four)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup + 6 tbsps. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin + 5 large cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of hot red pepper flakes (omit the tablespoon if  not all are seafood lovers, see below)
  • 2 cans (35 oz.) San Marzano Tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid) and cut-up into large chunks
  • 1-pound dried Linguine (Barilla, DeCecco or other premium brand)
  • 25 to 30 (6-8 per person) Extra Large Shrimp (16/20 to pound size)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup of San Marzano tomato liquid (only if sauce is too thick for taste)
  • 30 leaves of fresh Basil

Preparation:

These steps can be performed in advance

1.    Peel and devein the Shrimp, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to cook
2.    Bring large pot of water to boil, for the Linguine
3.    Heat 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan
4.    When oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in the sliced garlic and sauté until it begins to turn a dark almond color; quickly remove the sliced garlic with a slotted spoon before it begins to burn and discard it.
5.    Shut heat, and add 1 tablespoon of hot red pepper flakes, wait 10 seconds to allow the pepper flakes to brown lightly. (This step can be skipped for those who want plain marinara sauce.)
6.    Add cut-up and drained San Marzano Tomatoes, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir well and frequently to blend oil and tomatoes; reduce, or shut heat, if not yet ready for the next phase. (Note: It is not necessary to cook for more than 10 minutes, once the sauce begins to bubble)

About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the Linguine

1.    Heat remaining 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan
2.    Add a few drops of olive oil to the boiling water, place the dried linguine in boiling water and follow pasta cooking instructions on the box, approximately 9 minutes
3.    Add 5 cloves of chopped garlic to the hot oil in the pan
4.    When garlic turns very light golden color, shut the heat, add 1 teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes, wait about 10 seconds.
5.    Add shrimp and turn flame to high. Sauté and periodically turn the shrimp for 3 minutes, add white wine and continue cooking 2 minutes more, until gray color is completely gone and shrimp are pink throughout.
6.    If using the San Marzano tomato liquid, add about 1 cup or less to the shrimp when they are cooked, stir well to heat the liquid and add all to the previously cooked sauce. (If serving both marinara and Fra Diavolo, leave shrimp to side until sauce is added to pasta)
7.    When the linguine is cooked, drain it and toss it well with the sauce.
8.    Tear basil leaves into small pieces and add to the Linguine with Shrimp, Fra Diavolo, toss well again and serve.

Hot crusty Italian Bread makes a great accompaniment, as does a good Chianti. While some think that it is anathema to serve grated cheese with seafood, I do not subscribe to that philosophy and believe that this dish benefits from some freshly grated Pecorino – Romano cheese sprinkled over the pasta. If you wish to make this dish for more than 4 people, add one more can of tomatoes, one more pound of linguine and additional shrimp as necessary; the quantity of the other ingredients can remain as above.

Please see Related Article.

Brother Devil

In General Articles on July 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM

The first time I had Shrimp Fra Diavolo was about 45 years ago at a now defunct Italian restaurant on City Island, The Bronx. Fra Diavolo was not on the menu in our household, which is surprising, given that my mother loved hot spicy food, as exemplified by her homemade hot sauce. As pointed out by her granddaughters, she loved it so, that much to my embarrassment, she even carried a little jar of her hot sauce in her silver-metallic purse.

We took her to dinner once at Roberto, perhaps the best Italian restaurant in NYC, and she ordered a special homemade pasta dish for which Roberto is deservedly famous. Mom tasted it, said it was delicious and then proceeded to whip out her little jar and spoon some of its contents onto her pasta. Thankfully, no one other than my wife and I noticed this cardinal sin and when I commented that if Roberto had wanted it to be eaten spicy, he would have added the hot pepper himself. Mom completely unabashed merely smiled and said that’s the way she likes it and since she’s paying for it, what should he care! I didn’t bother pointing out that I was paying for dinner.

Fra Diavolo (Brother Devil) is the name given to a spicy hot tomato-based sauce that is usually married with some form of seafood: lobster, shrimp, calamari, scungilli, mussels or a combination thereof. It is also frequently served with a side of pasta, or over pasta, such as linguine. Purists will try telling you that you never add cheese to seafood pasta dishes. I was lectured about that once by a South American waiter in an Italian restaurant in Little Italy, NYC. I told him thanks for the advice, but I always eat my macaroni with cheese, even if it has seafood it in, so please bring some.

For Linguine with Shrimp, Fra Diavolo, I tried making it several ways. First I made a hot sauce similar to an Arrabiata and merely added the raw shrimp to the sauce to cook them. The shrimp were lost in the sauce. Then I tried sautéing the shrimp in garlic and oil and adding them to the sauce at the last minute. That was preferable to my palate. Finally, I tried making a basic marinara sauce and then sautéing the shrimp as before, but adding hot pepper and white wine to the sautéing process, this proved to be the best approach in that the shrimp stood out against the sauce. This technique has the added benefit that if one of your family or guests is not a seafood lover, you can merely serve them linguine with marinara sauce and avoid having to make two meals.

In my recipe connected with this article, you can prepare it either way, by adding hot pepper to the sauce and the shrimp, or just to the shrimp; however the circumstances dictate. Buon appetito!

Continuing on with seafood, since it is summer and the grilling season is well under way, please see: Catching Wild Salmon in Alaska and Cooking Wild Salmon at Home.

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