Shrimp fra diavolo is a spicy dish aided with a little sweetness from the shrimp. Ideally it should be a lively, piquant sauce with all the flavors complimenting each other. It absolutely shouldn’t be too spicy. The shrimp should also be cooked to perfection, and far too often the process of cooking the shrimp for this dish leaves it too chewy.
To make this dish perfect, we started by browning the shrimp shells, then using them to make a stock. The shrimp itself is then poached in the stock instead of seared on a pan. This made the shrimp nice and plump and delicious. To add heat to the dish, we used pepperocini peppers. To round it off, we flavored the dish with fresh parsley and basil. Keep reading below for this fantastic, devilishly good recipe.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Pasta
(makes 4 servings)
- 3/4lb large shrimp, peeled, and deveined. Shells reserved
- 1 14oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you want it)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon minced pepperocini plus 1/2 teaspoon brine from the jar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1lb linguine or thin linguine
- Toss the shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside. Pour the tomatoes in a colander set over a large bowl. Pierce the tomatoes with the edge of a rubber spatula and stir briefly to release the juice. Transfer the drained tomatoes to a small bowl and reserve the juice. Do not wash out the colander. Set a large pot of water on the stove and start boiling for the pasta.
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a 10″ skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and the skillet starts to brown (1 to 2 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the sherry. When the bubbling subsides, return the pan to the heat and simmer until the sherry is reduced to about 2 tablespoons (1 to 2 minutes). Add the reserved tomato juice and lemon juice and simmer to meld the flavors (2 1/2 minutes). Pour the contents of the skillet into the colander set over a bowl. Discard the shells and reserve the liquid. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano in the now-empty skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is straw-colored and fragrant (30 seconds to a minute). Add the anchovy and stir until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Remove from the heat.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water. Add the drained tomatoes and mash with a potato masher until coarsely pureed. Return to the heat and stir in the reserved tomato juice mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until the mixture has thickened (about 2 1/2 minutes).
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl when the pasta is cooked to al dente. Add the shrimp to the skillet and simmer gently, stirring and turning the shrimp frequently until they are just cooked through (2 to 2 1/2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the basil, parsley, and pepperocini and brine. Season with salt to taste. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Recipe adapted from the Rachael Ray show