Introduction: SHRIMP & MUSSELS FRA DIAVOLO
Gamberettoe Cozze Fra Diavolo - one of my all time favorite dinners. I first enjoyed this dish in a bar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, circa 1980. The patrons appeared to be mostly Italians; the atmosphere was lively, and the food was excellent! (That night I was enjoying Aragosta Fra Diavolo - Lobster Fra Diavolo, but since lobster is so expensive these days I am now making the dish with shrimp and mussels.
This recipe incorporates at least 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. You could make it without them, but then you would not be making "Fra Diavolo." If my translation is accurate, "Fra Diavolo" stands for "in or among the Devil," (IE., Hot, Hot, Hot)!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS (for 2 Servings)
- 1 TBS Coconut Oil
- 1 Strip Thick Cut Bacon, diced
- 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
- 2 to 3 Cloves Garlic, crushed and chopped
- 12 Fresh Raw Shrimp (Medium or larger), *shelled and deveined (about 6 shrimp per person)
- 1 16 oz Box Frozen Mussels in Garlic Tomato Sauce (I prefer Bantry Bay Premium or Publix Premium Mussels)
- 1 14.5 oz Can of No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes in Basil, Garlic & Oregano, (with liquid)
- 1/2 Cup Fine Dry Marsala Wine (optional, but tasty - you can sip it while you'r cooking)
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
NOTE: *Don't throw away the shrimp shells! Wrap them tightly and freeze until it is time for the garbage person to pick up your trash - or, better yet, save them to make a great shrimp or seafood stock. When you are ready, put the frozen shells in a big pot, cover them with water, add a little sea salt & bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 or 30 minutes. EXCELLENT!
Step 2: DIRECTIONS
- Heat oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- When the Oil is hot, add the chopped bacon, onion, and red pepper flakes. Saute until bacon is beginning to brown, stirring frequently to avoid burning the onion (about 3 or 4 minutes max). Add the chopped garlic and continue to simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes with liquid and bring mixture to a boil.
- Add *frozen mussels and wine; Cover and cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low; add shrimp and simmer until mussels are open and shrimp has turned pink (about 3 or 4 minutes more, stirring frequently - you don't want the shrimp to get tough).
NOTE: *When you open the package of frozen mussels for the first time you will discover that they are frozen solid and packaged in a flat "block" and enclosed in a tough plastic-like bag. That's OK; no need to defrost or separate them. Just slice the bag open with a sharp knife or scissors, and lay the "slab" of frozen mussels on top of the pan of bubbling tomato sauce and cover. When you lift the lid of the pan about 4 or 5 minutes later, you will see that the mussels have opened just as they should. Prior to serving, discard any unopened mussels (it is rare to find one).
Step 3: DINNER'S READY!
After the shrimp and mussels have simmered for about 4 or 5 minutes, remove the lid, add the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve in a bowl or over pasta or rice. I like to serve mine over DeBoles Organic Angel Hair Spaghetti made with Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin.
A nice glass of red wine compliments the dish.
Enjoy your dinner!
PER SERVING, About 402 calories and 17 carbs