Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Main Dishes, Recipes

Easy Fabulous Shrimp and Pasta Fra Diavolo


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).

Adding the tomato sauce and past to the oil, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Add tomato sauce and paste to the oil, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

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.

Adding the shrimp to the sauce.
Add shrimp to the tomato sauce mixture.

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.

Adding the partially cooked pasta and pasta water.
Add the partially cooked pasta and water to the shrimp and sauce.

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.

Shrimp and Pasta Fra Diavolo
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. As the pasta cooks, set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  3. 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.
  4. Cook the sauce until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. Season the pasta with the salt and garnish with the parsley.
  8. Toss to combine and serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.


  1. Jeff Greene

    If only there were a way to avoid having to peel and de-vein the shrimp yourself! ;-p

    I do love this dish…

  2. Well, for me, there is a way…. you.

  3. The real question is: is your parsley store-bought, or did you manage to get some from your herb box???

    It looks like a great recipe, we’re going to have to try it soon. And no, I personally will not be shelling the shrimp. 😛

  4. Jeff Greene

    I do believe when we made it, we got it from the herb garden. Right now, though, our original herb garden consists of just rosemary! Those hot spells killed the cilantro, parsley, thyme and oregano, as well as the mint we had bought for another pot. All we have now is the rosemary, a new oregano, basil, and chives. We’re going to go out soon and completely rebuild the collection, hopefully with some larger pots and better technique than our first go around.

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