Shrimp “Fra Diavolo” means “Brother Devil” in Italian. Given the name for its spicy flavors, I think you could also incorporate the name devil because this whole thing goes up in flames!!! I’m talking make sure your hair is tied back and you are not wearing loose sleeves because you are lighting this dish on fire. I may or may not have grabbed the fire extinguisher before attempting this feat – But hey, I did it, and it wasn’t all THAT scary! AND, it was totally worth it – A delicious flavor is imparted from the brandy. This dish also has white wine in it – Because WHAT isn’t better with wine?! However, I suggest not actually drinking the wine until after the aforementioned fire lighting. Once that step is done, pour yourself a hearty glass to calm those nerves! Serve the shrimp atop of some linguini and it’s like you’ve got clam linguini’s evil twin on your plate – All the seafood goodness but amped up with a good dose of alcohol and fiery heat.
I used a bag of frozen shrimp that I got from Trader Joes. They were partially peeled but had the tails still attached. They worked out perfectly. I like having a bit of the peel left on. I think that it adds more flavor to the dish and is a bit more appealing to the eye as well. However, you can use shrimp that are fully peeled as well. I upped the spice in this dish a bit from the original recipe – I mean if you’re going to serve people something called devil shrimp, you’d better come bringing some heat! However, I also made this dish for my good friend Barb and her daughter. They’re both pretty sensitive to spicy dishes so I cut the red pepper flakes back by half and it was all good!
On a side note, Happy Administrative Professional’s Day to all of my fellow working ” assistants” out there!!! Fun fact you may not know about me – I have been a legal assistant now for almost 14 YEARS – How did I get to be that old? Fresh out of college with my psychology degree in hand from the University of Oregon, I decided to try out a job in the legal field – To see if someday I may want to pursue a law degree. A decade and half later, I’ve made up my mind that I don’t want to be a lawyer, but will I always be happy as an assistant? That’s one of the reasons that this blog is so great for me – Even though I’m not *yet* earning a significant income (see here and here), this process is valuable in so many more ways that money – It gives me a creative outlet and lets me feel that I can succeed at whatever I put my mind to, even if it may not be a traditional career. I hope that you all are able to find your creative outlet – Whether it be with work or elsewhere – Cheers to all of you hard working, often lesser acknowledged, administrative professionals out there – Pour yourself a BIG GLASS today!
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Combine the shrimp, half of the red pepper flakes,
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 oil, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl; toss to blend. Add the shrimp to the hot skillet and assemble in a single layer. Let cook without stirring until the bottoms turn pink, about 30-45 seconds. Off the heat, flip the shrimp over, and add the brandy to the pan. Let the brandy warm slightly, about 5 seconds, then return the pan to high heat. Wave a lit match over the skillet until the brandy ignites. Shake the skillet until the flames subside, then transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
Cool the skillet for a few minutes. Return the skillet to the burner set to LOW. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and 3 tablespoons of the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat, until the garlic is light golden, about 7-10 minutes. Mix in the remaining red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, the sugar, tomatoes and wine or vermouth. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened, 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. Serve immediately.
Looking for a side dish? Serve this spicy dish with this Celery & Fennel Salad to tame down the heat – The fennel is such a great compliment to the flavors of this dish.
- The heat of the chili peppers can be intensified with higher alcohol wines, so it’s best to look for wines at 13.5% alcohol or lower.
- White: A Pinot Grigio or dry sparkling wine such as an extra-dry or brut champagne or Prosecco will be just SO awesome with this dish.
- Red: A Dolcetto or Barbera would make a good option for this dish – Look for fruity reds that are lower in alcohol.
- Rose: Any dry rosé will also make a great companion to this dish.