So it seems I go into nesting mode during these frigid weeks and cook…
There’s a local restaurant that my husband and I love. It’s Italian, which is almost embarrassing to say because there are so many Italian joints in this area that it’s pretty absurd. And we discovered our now-favorite as a fluke: It’s on a fairly major road, next to another Italian place, and looks pretty generic from the outside. But the food! Holy schlamoley – THE FOOD!
I always get fra diavolo when I’m there. I’m sure everything on the menu is fantastic, but why mess with success? I have no idea how the chef does it, but the fra diavolo is outstanding – bright pepper, just the right heat, tinges of sweet. The shrimp is always tender and luscious, and the pasta is always perfectly al dente.
So, since I’m maxing the household out on soups, I attempted to replicate the fra diavolo last night.
It was not *quite* as good, but pretty damn close for my first attempt. I sautéed down mirepoix for a while before adding 6 cloves of minced garlic. Let that cook for a while and throw in minced jalapeño. (NB: I’m sure fra diavolo is not normally with jalapeño, but hot pepper pickings are slim this time of year.) Then I threw in San Marzano tomatoes and red pepper flakes and let that all cook down a while. I threw in a ton of fresh shrimp towards the end and let them just cook right in the sauce. We had it over al dente fettucine.
We have leftovers, so I’m assuming the sauce will be even better today. To get it to where it needs to be, the sauce needs to thicken a bit. And, obviously, I should have made fresh pasta but I didn’t have time.
Anyway, back to fantasy-planning trips…