Shrimp & Scallop Fra Diavalo

"This delicious, spicy Italian favorite will win over your guests and you'll feel like a pro chef when you make it! The recipe is a variation on the Monkfish Fra Diavalo recipe by Cooks Illustrated. Since monkfish is not readily available everywhere, I use frozen shrimp and scallops instead. Feel free to substitute equal portions of lobster or your favorite firm, white fish."
photo by Faux Chef Lael photo by Faux Chef Lael
photo by Faux Chef Lael
Ready In:




  • Bring 4 quarts salted water to rolling boil, covered, in large stockpot. You will add your pasta to the water during the 8 minute simmer of the sauce (see below.).
  • While water is heating, heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, toss seafood, half of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Add seafood to skillet and quickly toss for about 30 seconds. It will not be finished cooking, but you will finish it later. Remove from heat and add cognac; let stand off heat until cognac warms slightly, about 5 seconds, and return pan to high heat. Wave a flame over skillet until cognac ignites; shake skillet until flames subside, transfer seafood to medium bowl, and set aside.
  • Off heat, cool now-empty skillet 2 minutes; return to burner and reduce heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 5 tablespoons garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Add remaining red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, tomatoes, and wine; increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until thickened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Stir in reserved seafood and accumulated juices, remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, and parsley and simmer until seafood has heated through, about 1 minute longer. Off heat, stir in butter until melted.
  • Meanwhile, while sauce simmers, add pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate pasta, cover, and cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta. Transfer drained pasta back to now-empty stockpot; add about 1/2 cup sauce (without seafood) and 2 to 3 tablespoons reserved pasta cooking water; toss to coat. Divide pasta among warm serving bowls, top with a portion of sauce and seafood, and serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan and a nice, crusty bread to soak up the sauce!

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I'm an artist and I work from home, so I love to have the smell of something delicious cooking in the background while I'm working. Cooking is the way that I show love to my family and friends -- I get that from my Southern grandma, who always made amazing meals for our large extended family. Since I learned to cook from her, I always end up making meals that could feed a small army. Down home, old fashioned, comfort foods that make lots of leftovers are my specialty. I love to eat any kind of ethnic food but I'm just learning to cook from different cultures. My favorite place in the world is New Orleans, so I love to make Cajun and Creole food. I call myself the Faux Chef because I don't have the talent to be a chef but I try really hard. My problem is, I never measure anything (thanks, Grandma!) which makes me TERRIBLE at baking.
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