Shrimp Fra Diavolo

I think nearly every single gift I received for Christmas this year was food-related, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  A few of the items were things I had asked for (my All-Clad sauté pan and these cute oven mitts, for example) but probably my favorite gift came from my brother-in-law.  He gave me The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.  This was actually on my list last year but I didn’t get it, and forgot to ask for it again this year.  It was a huge surprise to both of us – to me, because I hadn’t even mentioned that I wanted it to anyone, and to him, because he was taking a shot in the dark when he picked it out.  Well, I don’t think he could have done any better.  This book is even better than I could have imagined.  I’ve already made several recipes from it and each one has been spectacular.  (Can you guess what I’ll be doing for my next giveaway?!)  I am just having so much fun with it!

This was the first recipe I tried from the book, and it made for a great dinner.  Of course, I have yet to meet a shrimp pasta dish that I don’t like, but this was delish!  According to the book, fra diavolo is Italian and means “brother devil”, apparently in reference to the kick provided by the garlic red pepper flakes.  Honestly I didn’t think this was spicy at all and I would double the amount of red pepper flakes next time, but it was still very tasty.  The amount of garlic seems like a ton, and I was hesitant to add it all, but I figured I would try it once and it actually seemed to be just right – garlicky for sure, but not too much.  Two other things I love about this meal are that it involves flambéing (so fun!) and it comes together quickly so it would be fine for a weeknight.  This is a dinner we’ll be returning to very soon 🙂

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine
Printer-Friendly Version

1 lb. large shrimp (31-40 per lb.), peeled and deveined
1 tsp. red pepper flakes, divided
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ tsp. salt
¼ cup cognac or brandy
12 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about ¼ cup), divided
½ tsp. sugar
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup medium-dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1 lb. linguine

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat until the pan is very hot.  Combine the shrimp, half of the red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and half of the salt in a medium bowl; toss to blend.  Add the shrimp to the skillet and spread into a single layer.  Let cook without stirring until the bottoms of the shrimp turn a spotty brown, about 30-45 seconds.  Off the heat, flip the shrimp over.  Add the cognac or brandy to the pan.  Let stand briefly to allow the cognac to warm slightly, about 5 seconds, then return the pan to high heat.  Wave a lit match over the skillet until the cognac ignites.  Shake the skillet until the flames subside, then transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Cool the skillet for 2 minutes.  Return the skillet to the burner and reduce the heat to low.  Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and 3 tablespoons of the garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is sticky and light golden and begins to foam, about 7-10 minutes.  Mix in the remaining red pepper flakes, the remaining salt, the sugar, tomatoes and wine.  Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, add the linguine to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water.  Return the pasta to the now empty pot, add about ½ cup of the sauce and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water.  Toss well to coat.

Stir the reserved shrimp and accumulated juices, remaining garlic and the parsley into the sauce.  Simmer until the shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute.  Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Divide the pasta among warmed serving bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce.  Serve immediately.

Source: The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

30 Responses

  1. Wow this looks fabulous! I’m off to the fish market tomorrow to buy some shrimp!

  2. Isn’t that the BEST cookbook? I did the same recipe with scallops a while back, and it was just YUM. 😉

    I’m enjoying your blog very much – thanks and keep up the great work.

  3. I love that cookbook too, and this recipe. I tend to think it’s plenty spicy – I wonder if our red pepper flakes are different brands or freshness or something? I think I usually reduce the pasta quite a bit (which I do for most of CI’s pasta recipes).

    • Bridget,
      I was wondering the same thing about the red pepper flakes. But, it seems I buy a different brand every time (cheap, expensive, etc.) and none of them seem that spicy to me. Hmm. We cook the full amount of pasta, but don’t mix it all with the sauce and just have it as leftovers later in the week.

  4. Looks wonderful! Shrimp is one of my favorite foods, so I’m always looking for new supper recipes. This one sounds fantastic!

  5. This looks incredible. I just love shrimp! Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Oh, and I LOVE your site!

  7. This looks amazing and I am totally craving it at 9AM!

  8. That is my favorite cookbook. I love it.. it’s a great place to get a wonderful base recipe, before I often put my own twist on things!

  9. My wife & I cook this recipe several times per year – it’s always awesome. And yes, we double the red pepper…

  10. How high do the flames go? I want to try this but would be a little afraid of lighting my cabinets on fire lol!!

    • Teresa,
      Don’t worry, not high at all. Probably not even higher than the edge of the pan (at least in my case). It’s fun!

  11. Yum! This looks delicious! I love trying new pasta dishes.

  12. I bet this is a great book. I got The Best International Recipe book from C.I. And every recipe I’ve tried has been a success (I checked it out from the library and renewed twice! Then nubby surprised me with it for Christmas! Who knew he paid that much attention?)

  13. I have to try this! It looks AMAZING! I am currently drooling!!!!

  14. I have had my eye on this recipe for a while – I am definitely trying it soon!!

  15. Oh and I love those oven mitts – super cute!!

  16. Sounds like such a great cookbook and I will definitely be checking it out! Love this shrimp pasta too and I’m glad to know it wasn’t too garlicy with 12 cloves!

  17. I surfed across your site a few days ago. I have been drooling my way through and was anxious for your newest post. I was not disappointed. I can’t wait to try many of the dishes you have shared!

  18. Sounds like shrimp scampi, but different in a good way:) Can’t wait to try it!

  19. That pasta looks incredible.

    I was just at a cooking demo at Williams Sonoma and they were talking about their new all-clad pans, and they sound incredible! I don’t have any stainless steel pans, and after the class on braising tonight, I know what I’m saving up my money for!

  20. Santa left it for me under the tree, and I love it too. So much good stuff in there, I don’t even know where to start. This pasta looks like it might be a good place to begin!

  21. Just discovered your blog – your recipes look delicious! I am going to try a version of this tonight based on things I already have in the kitchen…I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂 Thanks!

  22. Mmmmm…shrimp and pasta….why did I wait so long to try the two combined?! Seriously, I tried shrimp scampi for the first time over the Holidays. This looks healthy and divine!

  23. This was an awesome recipe and my kids loved watching the flames!!!

  24. That cookbook has been my bible for years! I love the mag too!

  25. I don’t have brandy or cognac. Can you substitute? And if so, do you alter the amont? Thanks.

    • You could use Google for a substitution. I imagine some other sort of hard alcohol would work but it will change the flavor. I’d probably use the same amount.

  26. Hi Annie,
    How are you liking your All Clad pan? I’m just wondering how the brushed surface is holding up? My fiance and I are registering for pans and I wasn’t sure if I should go with stainless steel or brushed stainless steel. I want whatever is going to look less beat up after using it. Just thought I would ask your opinion since you had the brushed. Thanks!

    • Laura,
      We love our All Clad cookware. We have regular stainless steel. It can get tarnished looking after a while, but a quick use of Bar Keeper’s Friend makes them look perfect and shiny as new.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: