California Central Coast Recipes

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

The origins of Fra Diavolo is not clear. Some say it is Italian, other say that it an American-Italian creation. Regardless of where it comes from, this is a very delicious and festive recipe. It is easy to assemble since you have the Marinara Sauce ready. It is very intense and very delicious. When you want to splurge for your company, this is a good one to serve.

Although it is traditionally made with lobster, I have found that virtually any type of shell fish works well with this sauce. Since lobster is not that available on the West Coast, I use jumbo shrimp, fresh if available, but frozen works quite well also.

One time my niece Katie, who was attending UC Santa Barbara called and said, while scuba diving she had caught some lobster (West Coast type - not Maine of course) and was bringing it up for dinner.

Immediately I thought of this recipe to make the most from the fresh lobster. Boy oh boy was that delicious! That's a great way to serve this too!

Have some good crusty peasant bread and a salad to accompany this as well as plenty of napkins and-or moist individual hand cloths. It is messy but worth it! 2018, Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
re-calculate ingredients for:


The Sauce

2 pounds Jumbo shrimp
4 cups Basic Marinara Sauce
1 large onion , chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic , chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley , chopped plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes , plus more for table
1 cup Dry White Wine
Several-grinds black pepper
Salt to taste

The Pasta

1 pound linguine

Preparation Directions.

1 Rinse the shrimp under cold water and slit the down the back of the shell to de-vein but leave the shells on. Pat dry with paper towels.

2 In a large nonreactive or stainless steel Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook a bit more until garlic is fragrant and just starting to become lightly golden. Do not brown!

3 Stir in hot pepper flakes, black pepper and parsley. Cook, stirring until fragrant a minute or two.

4 Place the shrimp int the pan and saute over medium heat for a few minutes just until the shrimp turn pink.

5 Add the white wine to de-glaze the pan and shrimp. Bring the pan heat up to medium high, simmer 2 - 3 minutes, then remove the shrimp to a bowl, cover and set aside until later . Continue to reduce the wine down by one half.

6 Add Marinara sauce to pan. Reduce the heat and bring the sauce up to a slow simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and picking up bits of ingredients from the bottom of the pan to combine well.

7 In the meantime, put a large stockpot of hot water on the stove and bring to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, stir and then add the pasta. Stir the water again and bring to a boil and cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, to al dente or as directed on the package.

8 When the pasta is almost ready, add the shrimp back to the sauce to heat gently. Salt to taste.

9 Pour drained pasta on large serving plate, spoon the Fra Diavolo sauce over pasta, and arrange shrimp around sides.

10 Sprinkle a little additional chopped parsley over top and serve. Have plenty of napkins available as well little shellfish forks and sharp knives.

11 Have additional red pepper flakes available on the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Wine suggestion: A Red Zinfandel works well with this.

A tip from Sue!

Frying fish is not hard

Frying fish is not hard. The trick is to evenly coat the fish and allow the coating to set and dry a bit before frying. The purpose of the coating is to keep moisture in NOT absorb oil! To minimize oil absorption fry at a temperature between 350F and 400F max