Seafood Fra Diavolo


Want to heat things up this Christmas Eve? Try this scrumptious Seafood Fra Diavolo. The heat builds slowly and will warm your hearts and who knows what else...Santa might have all kinds of goodies in store for you this Christmas.


Happy Holidays!


Credits: Zippered boots from Vero Cuoio.  Nail Lacquer from Nailtini. Olive oil from DiPalo's in Little Italy, NYC





  • 2 - 28oz cans pureed tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed

  • 1 or 2 fresh lobsters (each 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (see Note)

  • 8-10 shrimp

  • 8-10 little neck calms

  • ½ lb mussels

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 10-12 cloves garlic finely minced

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1/4 cup cognac

  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼ inch dice

  • 3 fresh red chiles finely minced with seeds and ribs or 2 fresh red jalapeño

  • 1-2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp agave

  • 6 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 2 tbsp torn fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano

  • ½ - 1 cup water or more as needed to thin sauce

  • ½ stick of butter

  • ¼ - ½ lb fresh linguini




Parboil lobsters, about 5-6 minutes.*  Set aside to cool.


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and bell pepper, then chili peppers then garlic.. Add the wine and cognac, and cook over medium heat. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, agave, parsley, oregano and the basil.  Simmer (do not boil), stirring occasionally, over medium to medium-low heat until the flavors blend together, 20 minutes.


When lobster is cool remove tail and split in two leaving meat in shell.  Crack claws, but do not remove meat.  When the lobster has cooked a few more minutes, add clams, cover pot. After another 2-4 minutes add mussels.  When shellfish start to open add the shrimp.


While the mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghettini and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, and set aside.


To serve, make delicate swirls of spaghettini in the center of four shallow pasta bowls. Arrange the lobster tails and claws, with the sauce, on top of the pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve the lobster bodies and legs in a separate bowl and let the guests help themselves. Serve immediately, with plenty of napkins.



If you’re not boiling lobsters, either have your fishmonger cut them up and crack the claws for you, or prepare them in a humane way: Plunge the tip of a sharp knife about 1 1/2 inches down from the eyes into the center of the head. That quickly kills it. To section it for Fra Diavolo, separate the head and body (top) portion from the tail. Cut the tail in half lengthwise and remove the intestine. Split each half in half crosswise so that you have 4 tail pieces. Now remove the knuckles and claws from the top portion. Cut the knuckles from the claws for 4 more lobster pieces. Since the head of the lobster isn’t used in this recipe, either discard the pieces or clean them out, removing the head sac, the tomalley, and roe, if any. Rinse the shells, dry them, wrap them well, and freeze them for fish stock. They will keep for up to 1 month in the freezer.