Thanksgiving is next week, so in preparation for the holiday I’m going to share my Scampi Fra Diavolo with Spaghetti recipe. What?? Have I gone mad? Pasta for Thanksgiving?
No, I haven’t gone mad and no I’m not suggesting you serve pasta for your Thanksgiving meal, although you absolutely can if you want to! It’s just that with we all know that our kitchens are super busy between now and then (pies, sides dishes, and other things), and that we’ll be eating turkey for days (leftovers!). So in the days leading to the great feast I like to make easy meals and avoid making anything with poultry. And one of the easiest things to prepare is pasta, not only is it filling it can feed a crowd! And what can be farther from roast turkey than a spicy shrimp pasta dish?
So what exactly is Scampi Fra Diavolo? Well that depends on the country you’re in and the language you speak. In America we often think of Scampi as a shrimp dish, in Italy Scampi usually refers to langoustine which is a type of edible lobster that is found in the Mediterranean and the Northeast Atlantic. (Shrimp in Italian is gamberetti). As for the Fra Diavolo it literally means Brother Devil, in culinary terms it’s usually a red tomato based sauce that’s seasoned with spicy peppers and used with pasta and seafood.
So let’s keep it simple and say that Scampi Fra Diavolo is Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce. That works right? Of course you can make this dish with prawns, lobster, or even squid. And you can use any type of pasta you prefer, spaghetti, fettucini, penne, or whatever. But whatever shellfish and pasta you use this dish is delicious!
To make it easier I use my basic homemade Marinara Sauce as the base. I always keep jars of it on hand to use whenever I need it. Click here for my Basic Marinara Sauce recipe, it’s really delicious! If you have a preferred Marinara Sauce recipe you can use that too and in a pinch, I do mean in a big pinch, you can use a store bought pasta sauce.
This dish is really easy to make and can be done in less than a half an hour. Perfect when you’re trying to get dinner at on the table while prepping for a big Thanksgiving meal!
Scampi Fra Diavolo
1 Lb. Large Shrimp (13-15 count) – Peeled with tail on, de-veined
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper (you can adjust this to your taste)
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbs. Garlic, minced
2 Cups Marinara Sauce
4 Cups cooked pasta
1 Cup reserved pasta water
1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, chopped
Cook Pasta about 1 minute less than the cooking time on the box or if you’re using fresh pasta cook just before it gets to the Al Dente stage. You want your pasta mostly cooked but firm.
Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the water you used to cook it.
As the pasta cooks heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in a heavy skillet.
Add Shrimp, garlic powder, and 1 Tbs. Crushed red pepper. Cook until shrimp turns pink.
Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
Add remaining Olive Oil to skillet and saute fresh minced garlic until it starts to turn brown.
Add remaining crushed red pepper and Marinara Sauce.
Simmer for about 5 Minutes.
Stir in Pasta Water and combine well.
Add back shrimp and stir until shrimp is heated.
Add pasta and toss with shrimp and sauce until heated thru.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Served with a green salad and some garlic bread this dish is deliciously filling!