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Playing Seafood Fra Diavolo with Linguini


  • 1 pound large shrimp (heads intact, unpeeled)
  • About 5 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 leek, quartered
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • A few peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, 1/2 sliced
  • About 2 cups chicken stock
  • A pinch saffron threads
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) chili flakes or 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
  • About 1/2 pound calamari bodies, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • 18 mussels, cleaned
  • 1 pound linguini


Serves: 6 servings


Clean, peel and devein the shrimp saving the heads and shells.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon EVOO in a saucepot and toast the shrimp shells and heads. Add leek, bay leaves, peppercorns and a couple of slices of lemon. Cover with stock and add saffron threads. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Reduce by half.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add shrimp and sear 1 minute on each side then remove from pan. Dress shrimp with lemon juice from remaining half lemon. Return pan to heat, add 2 tablespoons more EVOO, shallots and garlic, and swirl or stir 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, thyme, sugar and chili flakes or chili paste, stir a minute more and add dry vermouth or wine.

Strain saffron-shrimp stock and add to pan then swirl in butter to melt. Stir tomatoes into sauce and bring to a simmer. Add mussels, calamari and shrimp then cover and cook 7-8 minutes to open mussels and cook shrimp through.

While seafood cooks, cook linguine in salted boiling water to al dente, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water then drain.

Toss pasta with sauce and starchy cooking water, transfer to serving platter and serve.