Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Fra Diavolo

Today we are excited to be featuring an Italian inspired recipe by our friend, Stacy Adimando, from her new cookbook PIATTI.

They say fra diavolo sauce may be an Italian-American invention, and that it migrated backward to Italy. Typically you’ll see a version of this spicy red sauce—often made with garlic, oregano, and sometimes a little booze—on the pasta section of menus, where it’s usually served with linguini or spaghetti and a mix of shellfish such as lobster, shrimp, clams, or mussels. This is my antipasto version, made deliberately less saucy, without pasta, and with fresh (not just canned) summer tomatoes and corn. I like mine extra spicy, with near double this amount of crushed chili flakes added. That’s what chilled wine is for.

The Ingredients

  • 18 extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on if desired
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bacon slice or pancetta slice [1 to 2 oz, or 30 to 55 g], finely chopped
  • ½ medium yellow onion [3 oz, or 100 g], finely chopped (½ cup plus 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup [240 ml] dry white wine
  • 1 cup [242 g] canned crushed tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 cup [about 6 oz, or 170 g] quartered fresh yellow or red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes, plus more as desired
  • ½ cup [70 g] fresh corn kernels
  • Crusty bread, for serving

The Steps

  1. First, always be sure to preheat your Stargazer cast iron skillet over low heat for 5 minutes before turning up the heat. This is good practice with any cookware, since extreme temperature changes can warp metal. 

  2. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp. Cook, turning as needed, until lightly seared and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and reserve.

  3. Add the bacon to the hot pan. Cook, stirring, until crispy, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the wine and cook until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, the basil, chili flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce forms and the cherry tomatoes begin to soften, about 12 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp back to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. 

  4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with more basil and more chili.

About the Author

Stacy is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and former Executive Editor of SAVEUR magazine. In her new book, she draws from her Italian heritage and her love of Italy's traditional abundant antipasti spreads to create over 90 recipes for easy, generous plates and platters meant for grazing and sharing. You can learn more about the book HERE.

This recipe has been reprinted from PIATTI by Stacy Adimando with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019.

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 30 min Serves: 4-6

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