How often do you feel like the dinner you’re making is just boring and you and your family have already eaten it one hundred times? I think you will like this recipe. I recently saw Geoffrey Zakarian preparing Shrimp Fra Diavolo on the new Food Network show “The Kitchen” and I figured that this is a perfect combination of what I like a lot: pasta, seafood and tomatoes.

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Even though it might seem like a traditional Italian dish, according to some Italian cuisine experts, this is rarely served in Italy and is considered a pure American-Italian creation.

I have changed the original ingredients a little bit simply because I didn’t have some of them in my pantry. However, I always have a bag off frozen shrimp in case I get tired of eating chicken, pork or beef. Thanks to the anise flavor from Raki, the dish gets an extra earthy flavor which conceals the extra fishy flavor from the shrimp.

Serving: 2
Preparation:  5 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Calories for 1 serving 495 (without parmesan)

Ingredients:
12 oz/35dkg of raw large shrimp (fresh or thawed)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon of chili flakes
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of Serrano chili pepper, diced (optional)
¼ cup of white wine
¼ cup of Ouzo or Raki or Sambuca – any anise-flavored alcohol will be good (I used Turkish Raki)
2 cups of San Marzano crushed tomato (or whole peeled and crushed with your hands)
Salt and pepper for taste
1 lemon, including the zest
1 tablespoon of canola oil
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan (optional)

Whole Wheat spaghetti (You can use any other pasta you wish, at that moment I didn’t have linguine or tagliatelle or didn’t feel like making my own)
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Start with peeling the shrimp and removing the vein. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt and pepper and rub it well. Zest half of the lemon and rub it as well.
Start boiling water in a large pot for your pasta. I’m making whole wheat pasta but tagliatelle or linguine pasta will work just as well.
shrimps
Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add your shrimp, then fry on each side for 2 minutes. Add the chili flakes. If you like things extra spicy, add a teaspoon of diced Serrano peppers. Add the garlic and sear it for few more seconds. Add the ouzo/Raki or Sambuca and let it cook down for 30 seconds. Be careful when pouring in the alcohol as it may start flaming. That is fine because it will give some extra flavor, but for people who has never done it, just be cautious and have a lid nearby in case the flames get too big. Then add the white wine and cook it for 1 more minute.
Take the shrimp out and put then aside while finishing the sauce. If you keep the shrimp in while finishing the sauce they will become overcooked and rubbery.
sauce
Add the tomato paste and cook it for about 10 minutes on high heat until the sauce is reduced in half.
By that time your pasta should be finished cooking. Before you drain it, put aside ¼ cup of the water that the pasta was boiling in and add it to the sauce.
Add the remaining lemon zest and lemon juice from the whole fruit. Cook it for another 3- 4 minutes and transfer the shrimp back to the pan. Coat the shrimp with the sauce. Turn the heat off and add the chopped basil.
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You can add parsley and grated parmesan, though some people would say that it’s a crime to pair cheese and seafood. But you know what? If you think that it’s what you like, then do it. It’s your plate and eating is supposed to be a pleasure.
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