This spicy saucy combo of succulent sauteed shrimp, garlic, plum tomatoes, and al dente linguine is known as Shrimp and Linguine Fra Diavolo, and is truly one of the best dishes you’ll ever make.

Close up photo of shrimp fra diavolo in black pan with tongs.


Editor’s Note: Originally published on December 5, 2018. Updated with new information, photos, and improved recipe on April 26, 2024.

Growing up on Long Island, Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine was a favorite of mine and was the first dish I ordered off the “grown-up menu”.

Fra diavolo is Italian for “from the devil” and some people believe the dish was named for Michel Pezza, a Neapolitan guerilla leader, however, the New York Times claims this dish was created in America by Italian immigrants which would explain why it’s available at nearly every Italian-American restaurant in the tri-state NY/NJ/CT area.

This iconic dish is easy to make, delicious, perfectly spicy, and a not-so-secret ingredient (brandy) amps up the flavor even more.

Recipe Ingredients

All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: shrimp, spices, linguine, hot red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, plum tomatoes, white wine, brandy, and parsley.
  • Shrimp. Use extra large shrimp, U26 or larger that are peeled and deveined. It’s up to you if you want to remove the tails or leave them on. I will say that each time I’ve ordered shrimp fra diavolo in a restaurant the tails were always on.
  • Tomatoes. Opt for canned whole plum tomatoes and either hand crush, or pulse gently in a blender.
  • Alcohol. I use a combination of a dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and brandy. While the brandy is optional, I do recommend using it for a more authentic shrimp and linguine fra diavolo. If you cannot have alcohol at all, you can omit both. If you choose to omit both, adding a splash of lemon juice will help add some zing back into the dish.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. In a large bowl place 1 1/2 pounds of thawed and patted dry extra large shrimp (U26 or larger), 1 teaspoon of paprika, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of Diamon Crystal kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and mix well to coat the shrimp. Set the shrimp aside for at least 10 minutes before sauteeing. While the shrimp are brining, slice 8 cloves of garlic, and hand crush 1 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes. Mince 1/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley and set aside. (Photo #1)
  2. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp and cook for 60-90 seconds per side, or until almost cooked. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding. Place the seared shrimp on a plate and tent with foil. (Photo #2)
Shrimp fra diavolo recipe process collage group one showing seasoning shrimp, sauteing shrimp in pan, sauteing garlic, and adding wine.
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Using the same pan as the shrimp, heat it to medium and add 1/4 cup of olive oil along with the minced garlic and 3 anchovy fillets. Use the back of a spoon to mash the anchovies and help them dissolve. Once the garlic is golden (about 2 minutes), add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and cook for another 30 seconds. (Photo #3)
  2. Add a 1/2 cup of dry white wine and turn the heat up to high. Use a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (Photo #4)
  3. Once the wine reduces by half add the crushed plum tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low and add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste. (Photo #5)
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer while you boil 1 pound of linguine to 1 minute less than al dente. A few minutes before the pasta is done, add 3 tablespoons of brandy to the sauce. Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Be sure to reserve at least 2 cups of pasta water, though you may not need it all. (Photo #6)
Recipe collage two showing mixing sauce, adding linguine to sauce, and tossing pasta.
  1. Add the shrimp back to the pan and toss with the fra diavolo sauce and linguine. (Photo #7)
  2. If the pasta is too dry, add a touch of pasta water (1-2 ounces) at a time. Once the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat and taste test. Add salt and pepper as needed, then add the parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy! (Photo #8)

Top tips

  • Brine the shrimp. Doing the 10-minute baking soda brine with the shrimp helps to keep them plump. While you can skip this step, I recommend taking the extra 10 minutes for best results.
  • Save your pasta water. As with many of my pasta recipes, I recommend reserving a few cups of pasta water to help loosen up the sauce if needed. The starchy pasta water really comes in handy for almost all Italian pasta recipes.
  • Heat level. Shrimp fra diavolo is a spicy dish. If you prefer it to be less spicy, you can decrease the amount of crushed red pepper flakes, and if you like it more spicy, add more, or serve more on the side.

Shrimp fra diavolo on white plate with parsley garnish.

More shrimp recipes

If you love shrimp fra diavolo give these other recipes a try!

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Shrimp and Linguine Fra Diavolo

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Shrimp and Linguine Fra Diavolo combines succulent shrimp with al dente pasta tossed in a garlicky, spicy tomato sauce.

Ingredients 

For the shrimp

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp U26 or larger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika optional, used just for color
  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes hand crushed or blender pulsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons brandy optional
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley minced
  • 2 cups pasta water will most likley not need all of it
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

For the shrimp

  • Place the shrimp, baking soda, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl and mix well to coat. Set aside for at least 10 minutes before sauteeing.
  • Heat a large pan to medium-high heat with the remaining olive oil. Once shimmering add the shrimp (work in batches if necessary to not overcrowd) and cook for 60-90 seconds per side or until almost cooked. Place the seared shrimp on a plate and tent with foil.

Finishing the dish

  • Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon of water) to boil.
  • Using the same pan as the shrimp, heat it to medium and add a 1/4 cup of olive oil along with the garlic and anchovies. Mash the anchovies with a spoon to help them dissolve. Once the garlic is golden (about 2-3 minutes) add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the white wine and turn the heat to high. With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits. One the wine reduces by half add the crushed plum tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the oregano and season with a touch of salt and peppper to taste if needed.
  • Boil the pasta and cook it to 1 minute less than al dente, making sure to reserve the pasta water. A few minutes before tha pasta is done, add the brandy.
  • Next add the pasta and shrimp to the pan and toss or mix to coat.
  • If the pasta is too dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Once the pasta is al dente, remove the pan from the heat and taste the sauce. Season with salt and pepper if required, and the parsley, then serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Increase or decrease hot red pepper flakes to taste. 
  • Always reserve extra pasta water just in case the pasta dries out while sitting and or waiting to serve.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave. Though, I recommend eating all the shrimp on the same day.  Shrimp do not reheat too well.

Nutrition

Calories: 721kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.7g | Protein: 47.5g | Fat: 17.6g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 374mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6.6g | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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This recipe was originally published on December 5, 2018. It was completely updated on April 26, 2024.

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34 Comments

  1. Chuck Stout says:

    5 stars
    Shrimp Fra Diavolo is one of my favorite Italian-American dishes and Jim’s recipe is absolutely magnificent! This recipe is hands down better than any other Shrimp Fra Diavolo I’ve eaten in a restaurant or prepared at home in the past! I followed the recipe with only two minor changes: I took the tail shells off the shrimp to make them a bit easier to eat (I dislike having to remove the tail shells when eating shrimp in a sauce) and I used lemon juice to finish the recipe since I had no brandy. I was a little concerned that the dish would be under-seasoned since only oregano was used, but I need not have worried at all. The sauce was perfectly seasoned, and I really appreciate Tara’s suggestion that some basil could be added at the end of the recipe along with the parsley. I’ll try that variation the next time (and there WILL DEFINITELY be a next time) I make this! I’m a relative newcomer to your site, but I’ve seen a number of your YouTube videos and I have enjoyed each one. The only problem I have is deciding which recipe to make next–maybe the Italian hero, whose video I just watched. Please keep up the good work!

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Chuck, thanks for the comment and we’re so happy you found us and have been enjoying the recipes!

  2. Matt says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for Mother’s Day and the family agrees that it’s terrific! I could’ve done a better job with the timing of the pasta vs the sauce but that’s on me. This recipe really hit the spot. Highly recommended.

  3. Dan Orgill says:

    5 stars
    I made this the day after seeing it on Youtube. This is truly a restaurant quality dish, no question. And in the immortal words of my wife ” It’s my new favourite “.

    I made sure to hit Costco to purchase shrimp, as most of our chain grocery stores are just really expensive.

  4. Debra says:

    Hi Jim!
    Would it be ok to make the shrimp and sauce earlier in the day, refrigerate, and finish off later in the day with the pasta?

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Debra, you can make the sauce ahead but Jim doesn’t recommend making the shrimp ahead of time since they become tough when reheated. Hope you enjoy!

  5. Sheila McGrath says:

    5 stars
    Sorry forgot the star rating.

  6. Sheila McGrath says:

    Made this tonight for dinner and everyone loved it. I think you might have another person following you, my daughter.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Sheila, thanks for the comment and so happy you all enjoyed!

  7. Bob Camara says:

    5 stars
    I made this last weekend GREAT Thank you….

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Bob, that’s great to hear! Thanks for letting us know!

      1. Robyn says:

        Hey Jim going to make this as it’s one of my favorite restaurant meals but homemade is better right? Can you just clarify when the brandy goes in…guessing it’s with the wine
        Thanks!

        1. Tara says:

          Hi Robyn, see step 6 in the process shots (or step 4 in the recipe card). The brandy is added just a few minutes before the pasta is done.