Monday, May 14, 2012

The Devil made me Cook it.

Fra Diavolo loosely translated means "brother devil", but don't expect to find this dish on a menu in Italy. This is an Italian-American invention and is basically a simple pasta sauce heated up with crushed red pepper flakes. Another facet of this dish is that it usually incorporates some type of seafood: shrimp, lobster, calamari (squid), crab, scallops and a firm white fish such as pollack, haddock or cod. The pasta served is one of the long pastas such as linguine, fettuccine or spaghetti. Considering it is not a traditional Italian recipe, I don't see why one could not substitute chicken or pork for the seafood.

First off, lets recap my Homemade Pasta Sauce:

Homemade Pasta Sauce


1 large onion, diced
3 Tbsp garlic
3-28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
1-12oz can tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried basil, crushed
1 Tbsp each dried oregano, thyme and marjoram, crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese


Add all listed ingredients into a 6-qt crock pot (previously sprayed with non-stick spray); mix thoroughly. Set on low heat; let the sauce cook for 8 hours.

Yields about 14 cups.


This recipe can be made on the stovetop, but should be stirred every 1-2 hours to keep sauce from sticking and burning on bottom of pot.

The long cooking time allows for the sauce to become richer and thicker. If a thinner sauce is desired, cut the tomato paste by half, leave out the diced tomatoes, and cut cooking time in half.

Now since I was making my Vegetarian Pasta Sauce yesterday, I decided to use that instead of starting another sauce from scratch. Why not? It's just the homemade pasta sauce with veggies added; just a little more nutrition thrown into the mix.

Lets put this dish together. You'll need, to serve four:

1/2 lb pasta (linguine, spaghetti or fettuccine)
2 1/2 cups seafood (a single item or combination of shrimp, crab, lobster, calamari, scallops or cut up firm white fish such as pollack, haddock or cod)
3 cups sauce
crushed red pepper flakes (1 tsp for mild, 2 for medium, 3 or more if hot or hotter)
chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the pasta according to directions. While the pasta is cooking, place a large, deep skillet on medium-low heat and add the sauce and seafood; cover. If it begins to bubble up, lower the heat to keep the seafood from over cooking and the sauce from burning.

Once the pasta is done, strain it and add it to the skillet plus the crushed red pepper flakes; toss to coat the pasta; let it all cook together for about 1 minute to allow the pasta to pick up the flavor of the sauce.

Plate it up and sprinkle the parsley over.

Could this be any easier!?!

So have a little brother devil for dinner and spice up your night. Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

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