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Experience the Heat: Authentic Seafood Fra Diavolo

Dive into the depths of flavor with our Seafood Fra Diavolo recipe, a perfect blend of spicy, savory, and fresh from the sea. Experience an Italian classic that's sure to impress!

March 20, 2024
Seafood Fra DiavoloPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 6 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 50 mins



  1. Clean and prepare the seafood. Devein the shrimp, scrub the mussels, and slice the calamari into rings.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving some pasta water for the sauce if needed.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, sautéing until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the white wine into the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Let it simmer and reduce by half, then add the crushed tomatoes and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
  5. Add the prepared seafood to the sauce, starting with the variety that takes the longest to cook (typically mussels and scallops), followed by the shrimp and calamari. Cover and cook until the mussels have opened and the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Toss the cooked pasta with the seafood sauce, adding a splash of reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Seafood Fra Diavolo
Serves 6
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10 g12.8%
Protein 20 g40%
Sodium 400 mg17.4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use the freshest seafood available for the best flavor. If you can't find fresh, high-quality frozen seafood is an acceptable substitute.
  • Adjust the red pepper flakes according to your heat preference. Start with less, as you can always add more.
  • While linguine or spaghetti are traditional, feel free to use any pasta you like. Just ensure it can hold the hearty sauce well. For more, check out our ‘Types of Pastas’ article.
  • Add different types of seafood according to their cooking times to avoid overcooking. Generally, mussels and clams take longer, followed by shrimp and scallops, with calamari needing the least time.
  • Keep some pasta cooking water to help adjust the sauce consistency if it gets too thick.
  • If the sauce is too thin after adding the seafood, let it simmer a bit longer uncovered. If it's too thick, add a splash of pasta water or white wine to thin it out.
  • Choose a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking for the sauce, as its flavor will influence the dish.
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Unleash the fiery side of Italian cuisine with this Seafood Fra Diavolo recipe. A tantalizing blend of fresh seafood simmered in a spicy tomato sauce, this dish brings the flavors of the Mediterranean right to your table. Perfect for seafood lovers who enjoy a touch of heat, Seafood Fra Diavolo is a sophisticated yet easy-to-make dish that promises a memorable dining experience.

Origins of The Seafood Fra Diavolo

The Seafood Fra Diavolo recipe is a delicious Italian food. The term 'Fra Diavolo' translates to 'Brother Devil' in Italian, referring to the spicy nature of the sauce that accompanies the seafood. While the origins of this dish are somewhat debated, it is largely considered an Italian-American creation, combining the love for seafood with the zest of Southern Italian cooking. The dish showcases the traditional Italian technique of simmering fresh seafood in a robust tomato sauce enhanced with a fiery kick from red pepper flakes.

The recipe for Seafood Fra Diavolo has evolved over time, with various interpretations found in different regions. A medley of seafood, a spicy tomato-based sauce, and pasta are the ingredients of this flavorful dish. While traditionally served with pasta, it can be served with rice or even be savored as a hearty stew. The combination of tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and chili creates a complex base that complements the sweetness of the seafood, resulting in a harmonious dish that's both invigorating and deeply satisfying.

When preparing Fra Diavolo seafood, it's important to balance the flavors and textures. The sauce should have a spicy kick but not overwhelm the delicate taste of the seafood. Each ingredient should be added at the right time to ensure it's cooked perfectly, retaining its unique texture and flavor. This attention to detail is what makes Seafood Fra Diavolo a beloved choice for those looking to explore the depths of Italian-American seafood cuisine. Whether you're an experienced chef or a home cook, mastering this dish offers a rewarding culinary experience, bringing a taste of coastal Italy to your table with a delightful spicy twist.

How To Prepare Seafood Fra Diavolo?

To prepare a delicious Seafood Fra Diavolo that captures the essence of this Italian-American classic, follow these comprehensive steps. Make sure to gather all your ingredients before starting to ensure a smooth cooking process.

Ingredients Preparation:

Seafood Selection: Choose a mix of your favorite seafood – traditionally, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari are used. Ensure everything is cleaned, deveined, and prepared. For mussels and clams, make sure they're scrubbed clean and that any beards are removed.

Aromatic Base: Dice your onions, mince the garlic, and prepare any other vegetables you plan to incorporate, such as bell peppers or cherry tomatoes, which can add sweetness and contrast to the spicy sauce.

Spice Mix: Have your red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs ready. The amount of red pepper flakes can be adjusted based on your heat preference.

Sauce Components: Measure out your crushed tomatoes, white wine, and any stock or water you'll be using. If you like a tangier sauce, have some lemon juice or a dash of vinegar on hand.

Pasta Prep: If serving with pasta, choose linguine, spaghetti, or another long pasta. Set a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta so it can cook while you're preparing the sauce.

Cooking Instructions:

Cook the Pasta: If including, cook your pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving some pasta water for later.

Sauté Aromatics: In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, then add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Deglaze and Simmer: Pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to reduce by half, then add the crushed tomatoes and simmer. Incorporate your dried herbs, adjusting the seasonings to taste.

Seafood Addition: Add the seafood to the sauce, starting with those that take the longest to cook, like mussels or clams. Once they start to open, add the rest of the seafood like shrimp and scallops. For the calamari, add it last since it cooks the quickest and can become rubbery if overcooked.

Final Adjustments: Once all the seafood is cooked through, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water to reach your desired consistency.

Combine and Serve: Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and seafood, ensuring everything is well-coated and heated through. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, basil, or a squeeze of lemon for added freshness.

Serve your Seafood Fra Diavolo immediately, accompanied by crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan if desired. This dish is a symphony of flavors and textures, from the tender seafood to the spicy, garlicky sauce, all brought together with the comforting backdrop of pasta. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with a glass of crisp white wine for a truly Italian-inspired feast.

Wine & Dine

Pairing wine with Seafood Fra Diavolo requires considering the dish's spicy and rich tomato sauce alongside the delicate flavors of the seafood. The ideal wine should balance the heat and complement the seafood without overwhelming it. Here are some wine options that typically pair well with Seafood Fra Diavolo:

1. Dry Rosé:

A dry Rosé, especially those from Provence or Italy, can be a great match. The crispness and slight acidity of the wine can help cut through the richness of the sauce while complementing the seafood's flavors. Rosé’s fruity notes can also provide a nice contrast to the spiciness of the dish.

2. Sauvignon Blanc:

A zesty Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from New Zealand or the Loire Valley in France, offers high acidity and citrus notes that pair well with the heat from the dish and can enhance the flavors of the seafood.

3. Pinot Grigio:

An Italian Pinot Grigio, known for its light and crisp character, is another excellent choice. Its lemony and mineral undertones can complement the seafood while standing up to the spicy tomato sauce.

4. Vermentino:

This Italian white wine, especially from Sardinia or Tuscany, has a herbal and citrus profile that pairs wonderfully with tomato-based seafood dishes. Its acidity and minerality can refresh the palate between spicy bites.

5. Grenache Blanc:

Grenache Blanc offers floral and citrus aromas with a high acidity level that can balance the dish’s flavors. It’s a less common but delightful pairing for those looking to try something different.

6. Albariño:

A Spanish Albariño, with its bright acidity and peachy undertones, can complement the richness of the seafood and cut through the spice of the Fra Diavolo sauce, providing a harmonious match.

7. Riesling:

A dry or off-dry Riesling from Alsace or Germany can pair well with spicy dishes like Seafood Fra Diavolo. The wine's natural sweetness can help tame the heat while its acidity complements the seafood.

When choosing a wine to pair with Seafood Fra Diavolo, opt for one that matches your personal preference and the level of spiciness in the dish. A good rule of thumb is to balance the dish's heat with the wine's acidity and to ensure the wine's flavors do not overpower the seafood. Enjoy the process of finding the perfect pairing to enhance this flavorful meal.

What To Serve with Seafood Fra Diavolo?

Seafood Fra Diavolo is a flavorful and spicy Italian dish featuring a variety of seafood cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.

Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Seafood Fra Diavolo:

How To Store Seafood Fra Diavolo?

Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality and safety of your meals. Here’s how to store your Seafood Fra Diavolo effectively:

Immediate Storage:

  • Allow the Seafood Fra Diavolo to cool to room temperature before storing. However, don't leave it out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Transfer the cooled Seafood Fra Diavolo into an airtight container. If you have a large quantity, consider dividing it into smaller portions for quicker cooling and easier reheating.
  • Mark the container with the current date. Properly stored, Seafood Fra Diavolo can last in the refrigerator for up to two days. Due to the delicate nature of seafood, it’s best consumed as soon as possible.

Long-term Storage (Freezing):

  • Freezing is not typically recommended for dishes containing cooked seafood, as it can affect the texture. However, if necessary, ensure the dish is completely cool before proceeding.
  • Divide the Seafood Fra Diavolo into meal-sized portions. Smaller portions freeze and thaw more uniformly.
  • Use freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to store the Seafood Fra Diavolo. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn and seal tightly.
  • Clearly label each container or bag with the contents and the freezing date. Properly stored, it can last in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
  • When ready to eat, it’s best to thaw the dish overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it gently on the stove over low heat. Do not refreeze once thawed.


  • Stovetop: Reheat Seafood Fra Diavolo gently over low heat until thoroughly warmed. Avoid high heat, as it can cause the seafood to become rubbery.
  • Microwave: If using a microwave, cover the dish and use the reheat setting or low power to avoid overcooking the seafood. Stir occasionally for even heating.
Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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