Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta
Bold spicy Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta, an easy one-pot meal you can make on the stovetop, or in the Instant Pot!
Who doesn’t love a super easy pasta recipe? I know I do!
Today I’m sharing a simplified version of a fancy recipe, Lobster Fra Diavolo we posted several years ago.
Most people think of a seafood fra diavolo recipe as a dish you cook only on special occasions.
Made with comforting pasta, spicy tomato sauce kissed with cream, and the addition fresh lobster, crab, or shrimp, I can see why.
It just tastes and feels luxurious.
Yet, these are all the same reasons why we should enjoy Fra Diavolo more often!
This uncomplicated variation, Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta, is a one-pot (or even Instant Pot) meal you can make in a hurry.
That way, you still get all the richness and tantalizing flavor of classic Seafood Fra Diavolo without having to deal with live lobsters.
What Does Fra Diavolo Mean?
Fra Diavolo literally translates brother devil in Italian.
Fra Diavolo sauce, most commonly made with tomato, herbs, and chiles for spicy heat, is thought by some to be named after one of Napoleon’s commanders with the same nickname. However, it is quite possibly named after an old Italian restaurant in New York City where it might have originated. Some think the meaning of fra diavolo is simply derived from its heat.
No one knows exactly where Seafood Fra Diavolo was birthed, but most chefs and historians agree, it is an Italian-American dish, not an authentic Italian recipe.
No matter where it came from, or why it was named “brother devil,” this seafood pasta has become a popular dish that happens to be easy to make at home.
How to Make Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta
You can certainly make your seafood, pasta, and sauce separately… If you like doing things the hard way, and wash extra dishes. Yet our Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta recipe is made in one single cooking vessel, for easy cooking and clean up.
Start by sautéing onion, fennel, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a large sauté pan.
Add in tomatoes, cognac, and some water and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Add the pasta directly to the sauce.
Cover the pasta and let it cook in the sauce to absorb the water. This gives both the pasta and sauce a vibrant concentrated flavor.
Finally stir in the shrimp, a little cream, and fresh herbs.
Let the shrimp simmer for just a couple minutes, until they turn pink.
If making this Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta in the Instant Pot, you can actually pressure cook the sauce and pasta together in just 4 minutes!
Then stir the shrimp in at the end.
Either way, this quickie Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta is a dinner that will thrill your friends and family, and should be made on a regular basis.
Someone might even offer to wash the dishes for you!
More One-Pot Pastas
Instant Pot Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
Skillet Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup cognac or brandy
- 1 pound dried trottole pasta or corkscrews
- 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the stems off the fennel bulb. Cut the bulb in half and remove the core. Then cut each half in thirds, and slice them thin. Prep the remaining vegetables and herbs.
- Place the oil in a large saute pan (with a lid) and set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, fennel, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the canned tomatoes, water, cognac, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir and bring to a simmer.
- Once the sauce reaches a low boil, stir in the pasta and cover the pot. Boil for 4-5 minutes, lifting the lid to stir once. The pasta should be nearly cooked, but still a little firm in the middle.
- Stir in the raw shrimp, cream, and parsley. Simmer another 2-3 minutes to cook the shrimp. Once the shrimp are pink, taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
What can you use instead of liquor?
You can omit the cognac if you like. You do not need to replace it with another ingredient. :)
I’ve never used fennel bulb. What does it taste like? I’d like to make this recipe but not add syre of the fennel. Thanks.
Fennel has a mild sweet licorice flavor. I know that sounds odd, but it offers the same kind of sweet pop that fresh basil does, when added to a recipe.
This looks very tasty. The cognac cream sauce with the shrimp and the heat element in the pasta is great stuff. Thanks.