I’ve made this Emeril Lagasse dish a few times now, and love it more each time I try it. Why? Well, this is one of those dishes that makes it look like the chef put in a lot of work, when in fact, it’s a super simple recipe (shelling the shrimp is the toughest task).
But, the real reason I love this dish is because it is so packed with flavor — it is an Emeril recipe, after all. Fra diavolo is a spicy tomato-based sauce, and if you can’t tell from our blog posts, Jeff and I love spicy foods! Each time I have made this, it’s just been for the two of us, so I prepare the sauce with a generous amount of red pepper flakes. If I were to make this for the kids, or for company, I would definitely tame the spice level down a bit.
As an added bonus, this is also a pretty darn healthy, low-fat pasta recipe! I like to use whole wheat pasta and serve it with a salad.
Emeril uses linguine in his recipe; I use whatever long noodles I have on hand. I’ve made it with linguine, spaghetti, and angel hair. All are equally good. But, I do prefer angel hair just because it’s my favorite noodle.
- 1 pound linguine
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup small diced onion
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups canned tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan, optional
- Bring a large 1-gallon pot of salted water to a boil, and place the pasta in the pot. Cook for 5 minutes and then drain; pasta will be only partially cooked.
- As the pasta cooks, set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and cook until lightly caramelized and wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and saute briefly before adding the tomato sauce and tomato paste.
- Cook the sauce until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan along with 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and continue to cook the pasta in the sauce until al dente, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Season the pasta with the salt and garnish with the parsley.
- Toss to combine and serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.