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Sea Food Fra Diavlo

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

This is the one dish that i can't perfect for the life of me. Anyone got any suggestions?

post #2 of 11

OK, what recipes have you tried?


What went, or is, wrong with the results?


What are you comparing the results to?

Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
post #3 of 11

Fra Diavolo is so simple.  What's going wrong?


Make a simple, fresh tomato sauce by sweating some oinions and galric in decent evoo.  Season them with salt and red pepper flakes, then add peeled and seeded fresh or very good canned tomatoes and just a splash of dry white wine or vermouth and a splash of clam juice or clamato if you have either.  (If you need proportions for the ingredients, I'll happily write a "down the middle" recipe for you.)  Cook only until the tomatoes start to break up and the sauce loses a bit of its soupiness and just starts to thicken.  About 10 minutes for canned, 15 minutes for fresh tomatoes.  


On the other hand, if you prefer a little more structure to the sauce, start with a bit of tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, and/or cook down to whatever degree you prefer.


In any case you want the tomato sauce completely finished before incorporating the seafood.


Meanwhile, season the seafood (often just shellfish, and frequently just shrimp, but it's up to you) with salt and red pepper flakes, then saute them in decent evoo until just barely cooked through, typically about 2 minutes.  (If you don't want to get two pans dirty, you can cook the seafood first, set it aside, then do the sauce in the same pan and oil.)


Combine the two, and simmer over medium-low heat just long enough for the flavors to marry, no more than five minutes.  The sin probably most often committed is overcooking the seafood in the sauce.  It's an assemblage, not a stew.


FWIW, Fra Diavolo is a lot more Italian-American than Italian.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/16/10 at 2:49pm
post #4 of 11

Can you give us the details of the ingredients and procedure? I haven't heard of this recipe. Thanks!

post #5 of 11

Seafood fra diavola. You will find it in many Italian restaurants as fruti di mare fra diavola/zuppe di mare alla diavola. Roughly translating to fruits from the sea and as hot as the devil.Saute finely chopped med. sized yellow onion til translucent 3-4 mins. Add 2 tsp fresh minced garlic. Now comes the hot as the devil part and adjust to your  to your taste a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes for 2 pers or up to 1/2 tsp. De glaze quickly with white wine , make sure you don't burn the garlic. Fish goes in definite prioritized sequence.Cherry stone clams 1st. Monk fish a minute or two after cut into a large dice. before putting in fish, you will need a prepared tom. sauce and fish volute add a ladle of ea. and cover with another pan or one of those circular aluminum things. Simmer for 3-4 mins, the clams should just be starting to open. Add mussels and simmer til mussel and clams are opened. Once they are opened, you will need another pan.pour the liquid into 2nd. pan. You can add a little more tom. sauce at this point. at a med. high heat you can begin cooking more delicate fish, start with squid that is thinly sliced up to 3 mins. only.Place cooked squid on top of clams, mussels and monk fish. doing the same thing for sea scallops and shrimp. Again scatter these on top of squid highlighting shrimp and scallops, if you got the money  add 1 in. pieces of king crab,and cook the same way as shrimp. So 2 pans 1 with cooked seafood the other with a wonderful seafood broth. Decision has to be made to how am I going to serve this. 3 options serve with linguine al dente/serve with farro or with warm chunks of Italian bread.Going the pasta route, as you are cooking pasta reduce broth, chop some nice fresh basil add to sauce including Italian parsley is  it spicy enough? Ladle some broth into seafood pan cover and heat briefly, saving some broth for pasta; once cooked saute pasta in sauce, drizzle some evo  fresh ground black pepper and parsley,plate and serve. put a large spoon in heated seafood drizzle evo parsley and serve with an under dish for pan and a bowl for discarded shells

post #6 of 11



Why do you use a veloute?  Why introduce flour at all?  You don't get enough structure from tomato? 



post #7 of 11

Home Made Cook,


Glad to do it if you still want me to.  Do you want it for four people?



post #8 of 11

I, for one, would love to see your recipe, BDL.

post #9 of 11

To veloute or not,ah hmmm alright strictly speaking about sauces. The function of a sauce is to add flavor depth and moisture; its structure is a liquid. Yes, a thicken agent and seasoning and flavor. With this dish in particular, the mussel, clams, and scallops  and also the tom, contain and release alot of moisture. The sauce is really a broth, so to reduce it, would make it quite salty. The velotue will give this broth some definite body in order to stick or cling to the pasta,along with adding depth and flavor. Also and this my style of cooking the fish veluote is fairly thin, think of a jus lie that type of consistency, but with alot of flavor, fr. roasting shrimp shells,and when I clean or cut king crab I slice off the whole of one side for easy access. which also goes into stock. And on the other hand using fresh or whole tomatoes, olive oil, wine, fresh herbs, putting aside some of the juices fr. shell fish works just as well.

Cheers.Have to drive Crispin to guitar lessons 

post #10 of 11

Taj -- No offense, but a veloute doesn't work in this type of tomato sauce.  At least not for me.   


Malch and Home Made Cook -- Let me finish writing it and I'll post it tomorrow. 



post #11 of 11

I finished writing a Fra Diavolo recipe and posted it here, on CT, and here, at my CFG site.  The idea of starting a new thread was to draw some attention to the recipe as a recipe as opposed to continuing the discussion in this thread.


Let me know what you think about the recipe.



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