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.
- 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)
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.