Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

I know, I know, we're supposed to be talking about goodies, cookies, candies, and sweets this time of year and goodness knows there's been a lot of butter and sugar used in my kitchen in the recent days. I would blog about the sweets, but since it's approaching the shortest day of the year, and I've been working, I haven't had enough natural light to take a decent photo of the goodies (sorry). But don't all those sweets have you craving something just the opposite? - a little spicy, savory, or salty? This recipe requires your full attention, so if you have some time and you're craving something not-so-sweet, give this a try. It's delicious! Also, you can cherish the huge eyes and gaping mouths your kids will have when you flambe the shrimp! Be sure to have all the ingredients ready and read through the whole recipe before you start. --oh and have a lid ready to place over your skillet just in case the flambe gets out of hand.

Shrimp Fra Diavlo
adapted from a recipe from the folks over at Cook's Illustrated

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tsp crushed red pepper or a little less to taste
6 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp table salt, divided
1/4 cup Brandy
4 T minced garlic, divided (I used probably half of this amount)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
1 pound angel hair or linguine

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over high heat for 4 minutes. While the pan is heating, toss the shrimp, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 T olive oil and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and spread to a single layer. Cook without stirring for about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat, stir the shrimp, and add the Brandy. Let it stand off the heat until the Brandy warms slightly, about 5 seconds, then return the pan to high heat. Wave a lit match or lighter over the skillet until the Brandy ignites; shake the skillet until the flames subside. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Add 3 T olive oil and 3 T garlic to the now empty skillet, reducing the heat to very low. Cook the garlic until it's browned but not burned. Add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 3/4 tsp salt, sugar, tomatoes, and wine. Increase heat to high and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. At this point, add the pasta and some salt to the boiling water and cook while the sauce is simmering. When the pasta is almost done, add the shrimp, the remaining 1 T garlic and the minced parsley to the tomato sauce and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute longer. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the pasta and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Serve immediately.


  1. Marzipan Mom!!! truly need your own cooking show!!!!...and you make everything seem so lovely and easy!!..."have the lid ready" so thoughtful of you too! :)...I told my Dad about it and we'll be trying it at his house after Christmas!

  2. When you lit it did you yell "Ta Daaaa!!!!" because, I think that should be one of the requirements.



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