Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There’s an Italian restaurant near here that has a great spicy pasta dish called Pasta Fra Diavolo. It’s a warm and cozy spicy tomato sauce served over homemade noodles. You get to pick the meat and the noodle when you order. I usually get either shrimp or scallops and both are delish. Since we are trying out some fancier dinners at home, I figured I’d give my own variation of Fra Diavolo a try.

This is another one of those recipes that tastes like it takes a lot of effort to make, but it really doesn’t at all. Even if you use fresh ingredients here like garlic cloves and whole tomatoes, it takes no time at all for a homemade pasta sauce. Being me, I had to amp up the frou frou ambiance so I choose a specialty pasta imported directly from Italy for the occasion.

It was an artisan pasta made with squid ink so it was a demonic black pasta noodle. Very fitting since Fra Diavolo translates to Brother Devil. I had to go with devilish colored pasta. The writing on the box was all in Italian which made things interesting. I did manage to google part of the instructions to figure out I only needed to boil it for 3 minutes instead of the usual 10 – 12.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo Shrimp Fra Diavolo

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic from a jar)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup (113g) grape or San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz baby shrimp, cooked

Mince the garlic and chop the onion. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the pan and add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 5 minute until the onion soften. Watch to make sure the garlic doesn’t brown or it will turn bitter.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute until the shrimp are warmed. Remove from heat and serve over your favorite pasta.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 197 calories – 27g protein, 5g fats, 11g carbs (not including pasta).


  • Since I was aiming for a fancy dinner, I used fresh garlic in this recipe instead of my usual jarred minced garlic. Either is fine to use. To mince fresh garlic, remove the peel from the clove and smash it with the flat side of your knife. Mince the flattened clove into tiny pieces.
  • I used fresh San Marzano tomatoes since they are in season here this time of year. They are like larger grape tomatoes so you can sub in grape tomatoes in their place. To crush them, use your knife to break the skin on each tomato so they don’t explode everywhere. Crush them with the flat side of your knife just like you did with the garlic and then cut them into large chunks. I did this on my cutting board so I could scrape the pieces and the juice into the pan.
  • I liked using baby shrimp for this recipe since I liked having lots of smaller shrimp instead of fewer large shrimp. Shrimp are shrimp so feel free to use what you like. You can also use chicken, scallops, or other proteins too.

Even with a huge mountain of fancy pasta, it was only 447 calories for the entire dish. Try doing that with a restaurant meal. Obviously you don’t have to use squid ink pasta in your version, but it did add lots of fun to dinner and made it less ordinary. Always aim for epic even with your pasta noodles.

If you’re looking to learn more about how to eat fancy but quick meals while eating for your goals, let me know at or read more about my online training and nutrition programs. Life is too short to choke down chicken and broccoli with every meal.

Speak Your Mind