Monday, May 16, 2005

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Made this on Sunday with linguine. It came out quite nicely, I thought. I normally like to see 4 or 5 different recipes for anything I haven't made before, then pick out what I like from each one, but I couldn't find too many online--at least from the Food Network or Epicurious. Some things I changed around were: 1) I added onions, just because I like onions and wanted more chunky texture in the sauce; 2) I simmered then pureed a carrot and a celery stalk with some of their cooking liquid and added them (fra diavolo sauces don't usually call for carrots and celery, but a lot of tomato sauce recipes do, and, rather than have chunks of carrots and celery, I pureed them); 3) I used both dried and fresh oregano (I added the dried fairly early and the fresh towards the end).

I did not use tomato paste. The sauce didn't need it for body or the heavy tomato-paste flavor. The recipes I saw recommended tomato paste and a fairly short cooking time (15 mins. or so). I suppose the tomato paste would be necessary for both body and richer flavor with such a short cooking time, but I cooked the sauce for about two hours. Just enough to get that cooked-tomato taste, but not yet bitter.

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