pasta & recipes: seafood fra diavolo
On a cold winter night, when you have guests visiting, this is the perfect meal to linger around the table eating. With your family and guests seated at the table, red wine poured in their glasses, hardy Italian bread sliced and at the waiting your diners will ooh and ahh as you approach the table with a steaming hot platter of spicy, seafood fra diavolo.
Incidentally, Fra diavolo (literally “brother devil”) was the nickname given to Michele Pezza (April 7, 1771–November 11, 1806), a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader who resisted the French occupation of Naples. Pezza’s nickname was given to him when he was a child.
According to local custom, when youngsters recovered from an illness they were dressed as monks for a procession in honor of St. Francis of Paola, patron saint of sick children. On one such occasion young Pezza, who was not well behaved, was called “fra diavolo”. Pezza’s early years were quite telling and the nickname suited this tough, guerrilla leader who was renowned for his diabolical ways.
Seafood Fra Diavolo
1 pound linguine (or spaghetti)
1 table spoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
3-4 cups marinara Sauce (see below)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 dozen little neck clams*
1 dozen mussels
¾ pound uncooked, shrimp*
1 pound large scallops
1 pound cod
If you are using the clams and the mussels use ½ dozen of each. If you are using only one or the other use a full 1 dozen. If using the shrimp cut, in half, the amount of cod or scallops. We only used mussels, scallops and cod.
1. Bring a large 1-gallon pot of water to a boil, add the salt to the pot and drop in pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and then transfer pasta to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss to coat the pasta well, and then set aside.
2. As the pasta cooks, set a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the marinara and the crushed red pepper. Bring sauce to a low simmer, add the scallops and cod (and if using, the shrimp). When cooked, with a slotted spoon, remove to a plate to avoid over cooking. Add the mussels (and/or clams), let cook for about 5 minutes or until they open. Add the scallops and cod back into the pan. Cover and let cook for an additional 3 minutes.
3. To serve place the pasta on a large platter. Pour the seafood mixture over the pasta.
4-6 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
2 tbs chopped, fresh parsley
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large cans tomato puree
½ cup dry red wine
1. In a large pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat, stirring continuously, until leaves of basil wilt.
2. Add the tomato puree and the red wine. Stir thoroughly. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.