This is one of our favorite spicy shrimp fra diavolo recipes, courtesy of Chef John of Food Wishes. We like making shrimp because it cooks up quickly but can be very versatile. This recipe has a nice level of spice for us, but if you don’t like the heat, you can adjust the amount of pepper flakes.
A word of warning, when searing shrimp on high heat, the Aleppo pepper releases oil that can travel in the vapor. You will find yourself coughing, and possibly tearing up if you breathe it in directly. Aleppo pepper is considered medium heat level and rates 10,000 SHU on the Scoville Scale. If you want a little less spice in your shrimp fra diavolo, you can leave out the Aleppo pepper.
What we’ve learned with this shrimp fra diavolo recipe
Avoid scrimpy shrimp. Buy the largest shrimp you can find. You want to look for shrimp that are 16/20, as in 16 – 20 shrimp per pound. This falls into the Extra Jumbo category.
Just because packaging claims “Jumbo Shrimp” doesn’t make it so. We’ve made this mistake by not actually looking at the count and the shrimp were Medium Large at best. The sizes aren’t standard so always shop by the count.
Buy a big bag of frozen raw shrimp. It’s easy to take and thaw what you need and you can save the rest for another quick stir fry. Once thaw, dry the shrimp with paper towels for the best sear.
Devein shrimp with a pairing knife. Deveining is optional but will make the shrimp look better. Using the tip of the pairing knife, carefully slit the back of the shrimp. Then use the tip to get under the vein and slowly pull it out from head to tail. This tends to be slimy so we suggest wiping the vein off the knife with a paper towel.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!Print
Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo
- Nice and spicy
- Cooks quickly
- High heat recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 4 1x
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (sixteen to twenty per pound size – bigger is better)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch of Allepo pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to generously coat the shrimp
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- ½ tsp dried oregano, or 2 tsp of fresh
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 ½ cups crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
- Make sure shrimp are peeled, deveined and completely dry.
- Season them with chili flakes, Allepo pepper (optional), and salt. Then add olive oil to the shrimp and seasoning and mix with a rubber spatula.
- Stick the shrimp in the fridge while heating the pan.
- Put a heavy pan on highest heat. Test with a couple drips of water to see if it’s ready. If the water droplets bead up and dance around the pan rather than boiling off right away, it’s hot enough to start.
- Take shrimp out of fridge and begin to sear it. You should be able to get the shrimp in one single layer. Sear for about 2 minutes or until nicely brown. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute.
- Turn off heat and remove shrimp to a clean bowl. (These will finish cooking later in the sauce)
- Return heat to medium and throw in sliced onions. Add a pinch of salt. Cook on medium until they turn translucent and a bit golden.
- Add oregano and minced garlic, and stir this in. Cook for about a minute to take the raw edge off of the garlic.
- Deglaze the pan with a glass of white wine. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. When the wine starts boiling, add the crushed tomato.
- When sauce starts simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and cook the sauce for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer shrimp along with accumulated juices back into the sauce. It should take only a few minutes to heat the shrimp through.
- Add parsley and basil leaves. Stir it in, and taste for seasoning.
- Serve on pasta (angel hair or linguini), rice or cauliflower rice.
Serve with pasta, rice or cauliflower rice!
Keywords: shrimp, spicy, seafood