The spicy sauce of this recipe—"fra diavolo" means "brother devil" in Italian—will warm you up from the inside, making it a perfect winter pasta.

"This meal can be made with seared scallops, shrimp or scrubbed mussels or a mixture of seafood for a cozy date night, a fancy holiday course or just to spice up a Wednesday. This is one of our favorite cook-alongs to do with friends. You can swap this out with anything—if you want to use shredded chicken because you don't enjoy seafood, the same sauce base would work." – Rach

Shopping Tip: Rach likes to use Old Bay Seasoning for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound picked crab meat (Rach used king crab leg meat but lump or claw meat is great as well)
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste, or 1½ teaspoons chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen or chopped fennel seed
  • ½ cup dry sherry, dry vermouth or white wine
  • One 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes or Italian cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups passata or one 14-ounce can tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 to 16 ounces egg spaghetti or linguine
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herb mixture: chives, dill and parsley
  • ¼ cup drained hot pickled chili peppers, chopped (optional)

Yield

Serves: 4

Preparation

Run your hands through the crabmeat and pick through it carefully for bits of shell or cartilage and toss with lemon juice and Old Bay. 

Heat a pot of water for pasta and bring to a boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO, add butter and melt to bubble, add shallots, celery, garlic, bay, chili paste or flakes, and fennel pollen or fennel seed, and stir 2 to 3 minutes, add sherry, vermouth or wine, and add tomatoes and passata, crush tomatoes if using cherry tomatoes.

Salt water and cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions.

Add crab to sauce (or seared scallops or seared shrimp or mussels or a mixture of seafood rather than crab). (If using mussels, place the mussels in the bubbling sauce and cover. Steam until the mussels open and toss any that do not). Reserve ½ cup of salty cooking water from pasta, drain pasta and toss with sauce and crab or seafood, add a little starchy water if necessary to keep loose, adjust seasoning and top with herbs and chopped pickled chilies.