Happy New Year from South of the Border. Like the explorers of days past, I’ve just had an interesting (and very sweaty) visit to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. I don’t know for sure how their civilization died out, but something tells me that it could have had something to do with live human sacrifice. I’m also badly sunburned and have a tequila headache. And General Montezuma is knocking at the door. Isn’t travel great?
Is it any wonder, therefore, that I’ve been here for all of three days and am already foraging for Italian food? Incredibly, right next to the frijoles at the local market, I found DeCecco pasta, Colavita olive oil, and San Marzano tomatoes. In the spirit of adapting to local culture, however, I decided to buy fresh shrimp and chili peppers. And with a nice chilled Pinot Grigio as a wine pairing, I feel like a global citizen.
As for the “Fra Diavolo” title, this is an Italian-American thing. The real Fra Diavolo (brother devil) lived about 100 years ago, and was an Italian guerrila fighter. Somehow the name got adapted in America for what is essentially an arrabiata (spicy) tomato sauce. Delicioso!
Buon Anno e Appetito!
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.Print
Sunday Pasta®: Spaghetti con Gamberi “Fra Diavolo” (spicy shrimp)
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- 1 28 ounce can Italian tomatoes, pureed or crushed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound small shrimp, peeled, de-veined and cleaned
- 1 small chili pepper, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound spaghetti (or other long pasta)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of the oil. When hot, add the garlic and chili pepper and saute until the garlic is golden. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and add the shrimp and saute for about a minute or two. Add the wine and allow most of it to evaporate (about a minute). Remove the shrimp from the skillet and keep warm.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet and when hot, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook until the sauce reduces slightly, about 15 minutes. Add back the shrimp and half of the parsley.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain it and add it to the shrimp sauce. Mix together for about a minute.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley.