Italian food without pasta is what you are looking at right now. Spicy, garlicky tomatoes, reduced down to a thick sauce that is in no way coating any pasta is happening, and I don’t even know what to tell you, except that I made garlic bread so I haven’t completely gone off the rails. Or on the wagon. It depends on which side of the line you fall.
The way I see it is the less pasta involved, the more shrimp you can eat, and that’s where the flavor is (and where the fat isn’t). Garlic bread is the vehicle in which sauce is sopped, but the shrimp is really the star, so, in a move that is completely unlike me, I left the pasta out. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it.
The last time I made Fra Diavolo I used leftover lobster from Maine and did use pasta because the lobster was chopped and made a part of the sauce. This time, I reduced the sauce until it just coated these gorgeous jumbo shrimp. Either way works, but one is decidedly lighter than the other.
Spicy shrimp. Garlic bread. One bowl.
These were big shrimp, so I served 6 per serving with a couple of slices of garlic bread and it was the perfect dinner.
The shrimp are tender and tasty. The sauce is spicy but not overpowering. The sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes are a great balance to the chili flake and the basil adds the freshness it needs.
Of course, you could serve this with pasta or regular plain crusty bread, but there’s something perfectly old school about a good garlic bread, and for me, it was the perfect accompaniment.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo has all the promise of a traditional Italian dinner and is also pretty light, considering you’re eating a couple of slices of bread instead of a bowl (and a half) of pasta. You fill up on the good stuff!
Here’s the recipe.
This recipe serves 2
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound large shrimp (about 12-15 count)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with a spoon or by hand
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper
- 7-8 basil leaves, chiffonade
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are just pink. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes more until the wine has reduced considerably. Remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add tomato paste, whole tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, but up to 60. Season with salt and pepper when it has finished reducing.
- Add shrimp to the tomato sauce and toss to combine. Add chiffonade basil and serve immediately with garlic bread.