Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Seafood Fra Diavolo

The Essential Fra Diavolo Sauce

This Italian classic often gets its heat from pepperoncino (red pepper) flakes, but I love the depth that comes from including fresh serrano pepper in the garlic and onion sauté. For another layer of flavor, I use a full can of tomato paste. So delicious, plus you can make it your own with any seafood you like—go simple with shrimp, lavish with lobster tail meat and scallops or easy with chunks of your favorite fish!. As a final step to this recipe, you might stir in a pound of shelled shrimp and cook until opaque. Serve it with or without pasta. It’s also delicious with any legume-based pasta—top with a good amount of grated Parmesan or Pecorino.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 2 pounds assorted seafood, such as 8 ounces each peeled shrimp, scallops, calamari rings, and crabmeat
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of salt


Step 1

Heat a large skillet—it’s ready when a few drops of water sizzle on the surface. Add the olive oil and then the seafood, gently searing it on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to a bowl next to your cooktop. Add more oil to the pan if needed, then add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, but not browned. 

Step 2

Add the pepper and garlic and cook until soft. Then add the tomato paste and cook it until fragrant and almost brown-burgundy in color, whisking it constantly as it caramelizes. Slowly whisk in the wine and then add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, and salt, and heat through.

Step 3

Return the seafood to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes until cooked through. Serve over your choice of pasta.

Yields 4 servings