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This decadent seafood fra diavolo is made with an easy, homemade spicy tomato sauce, pasta and shrimp. Perfect for date night!
Years ago, just before I headed to see a traveling Broadway production of Cats, I tasted seafood fra diavolo for the first time.
It was a memorable night!
Over the years, I’ve been on a mission to recreate as many versions as possible of that fabulous seafood pasta dish, including this shrimp fra diavolo and scallop fra diavolo.
Seafood in spicy pasta sauce is one of my favorite meals ever.
This version, a mixed seafood fra diavolo, might just be my favorite yet! Why? Because it’s so incredibly EASY!
What Is Fra Diavolo?
Fra Diavolo means “brother monk” or “devil monk,” and refers to a spicy Italian tomato sauce.
Apparently (maybe?) the monks liked their sauces packed with heat.
Is This Fra Diavolo Sauce Spicy?
If you follow the recipe as written, yes, it is a rather spicy sauce. It’s a fra diavolo sauce, after all.
That said, if you’re not sure what type of heat level you’d like, this sauce is also delicious with much less (or even no) heat, so feel free to modify the heat level to your liking.
Where Can I Buy Mixed Seafood?
It’s usually fairly easy to find bags of mixed seafood in the freezer section. These mixed seafood bags typically include things like shrimp, bay scallops, mussels and calamari (squid).
The seafood mix in the photo below is from Aldi, but I’ve also seen these mixed seafood bags regularly at Trader Joe’s and more traditional grocery stores.
Do I Need to Thaw the Seafood Before Cooking?
Yes. Either place the seafood in a bowl in the refrigerator the day before, or do a quick thaw in cold water while you prepare the pasta sauce.
How to Make the Fra Diavolo Sauce
Start by adding oil to a large, heavy pan. I like to use this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet, but a Dutch oven would work well too.
Cook an onion and red pepper flakes until the onion softens. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add diced or canned tomatoes, water and dried oregano.
See the Recipe Notes for tips on which type of tomatoes will give you the texture sauce you prefer.
Simmer the tomato mixture until it thickens.
At this point, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Prepare the Seafood Fra Diavolo
While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the seafood and cook for two minutes.
Strain out the seafood, put it in a bowl, and place the bowl in the fridge while you continue cooking.
Next, cook your pasta.
Add spaghetti to the same pot of boiling water, and cook according to the package directions.
Strain the pasta and and toss it with the fra diavolo sauce. Add the cooked seafood and toss again.
Serve this pasta right away, along with a crisp glass of chilled wine.
Seafood Fra Diavolo
- large heavy skillet (12-inch minimum)
- 1 pound mixed seafood, thawed if purchased frozen (Mixed seafood usually includes shrimp, scallops, mussels and calamari)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes Use less for a milder sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (diced) or 28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ pound spaghetti Use gluten-free spaghetti if needed
Fra Diavolo Sauce:
- Add the oil, onions, chili flakes and salt to a large, shallow pan. (Use a 12" pan or larger, see recipe notes.) Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (~5 min). Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, water, and oregano to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.Taste the sauce and add more chili flakes, salt, or oregano if desired. Simmer 1-2 more minutes if you added more seasoning.
- While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the mixed seafood and cook for about 2 minutes. (If the seafood mix includes shrimp, cook until the shrimp turn pink.)Use a mesh sieve, skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the seafood from the water into a colander. Rinse with cold water to stop the seafood from cooking. Place the seafood in the fridge until your sauce is ready.(Do not discard the hot water.)
- Add spaghetti to the large pot of boiling water.Cook spaghetti according to package directions.Add the cooked spaghetti to the pasta sauce and toss to coat.Add the seafood to the pasta and toss again. Serve immediately.
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