One of my responsibilities at work is is to load any menu changes for the restaurants into the computer systems (stupid Micros). This gives me a reason to become familiar with all the food that is being offered. It also provides me with some inspiration for new meals that I would not have thought about trying to make on my own.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo is one of those dishes on the new menu where all aspects of it caught my attention. Nothing is easier to cook than shrimp and pasta, then you add in a spicy red sauce… you can’t go wrong. I made my usual substitution of chicken, since I have an endless amount of high quality, cheap chicken.
Just like every other type of meal, I am no expert when it comes to cooking pasta. I am still at that stage of my culinary adventure where I wonder if it will even turn out edible. Fortunately for myself (and anyone who eats my food), I am an expert at following simple directions.
In this case, I was spot on! The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was really ^&*$)ing spicy… which is what I was going for (I added a little extra red pepper powder to the chicken (and sauce) while it was cooking). I figure anything that means Brother Devil deserves to have a high intensity of spice.
Since I’ve never had this prepared for me, I have no idea how this dish is supposed to taste… but I very much enjoyed the version that I prepared.
A simple pasta dish with a spicy kick, easily modifiable to your tolerance level.
Slice chicken into thin strips and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and saute until cooked. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside.
Add the red pepper flakes and onion (and additional oil as needed) to the same skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
Cook the pasta according to directions on box.
Return the chicken (and juices) to the sauce. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. Stir in the parsley, basil, and additional salt to taste.
Note: I used additional red pepper powder to season the chicken... go big or go home.