I've been a recipe collector a lot longer than an actual "at home cook." Back in my single days, I loved going through old magazines and cutting out the recipes that sounded good. I had a huge collection of these - all taped onto index cards - but I rarely cooked from them. In fact, when I was single, I didn't even cook that much because I never really enjoyed cooking for one. And then I got married. Now I had 2 to cook for, which was much easier than cooking for one. Plus, I had someone else to give me feedback on what I had made. In the early years of our marriage, I relied a lot on recipes from the internet. Allrecipes.com was one of my favorite resources. I created an account and I would rate and review each of the recipes I tried. It was a lot of fun and I got to try lots of new recipes.
The more I cooked, the more I hungered for more recipes. And then I discovered food blogging. Food - great food - combined with photos and commentary about the recipes - I was sold. And I've been addicted ever since. But those of us that are addicted to food blogging know that it's hard to satisfy our cravings - the more recipes we have, the more we want. And this is when my cookbook addiction started.
Now my favorite resource for recipes is from cookbooks. Not that I don't get recipes from websites or magazine, but I love to sit down with a cookbook - especially one filled with great pictures - and read it front to back, just like a novel. When I first started buying cookbooks, I think I read them more often than I cooked from them!! Now, my cookbook "want" list is large, and grows just about every day. At the beginning of this year, I committed myself to cook and blog about at least one recipe from each of my cookbooks, and I'm glad to say that even though I still have a few to go, I'm pretty sure I will accomplish this goal. And now I don't feel guilty buying a new cookbook, because I know that it will get used (if even for just one recipe!).
This recipe came from a cookbook in my collection that is a fun one to look through because of the variety of recipes and photos. this recipe is one that is easy and will be done in under an hour. So here is Shrimp Fra Diavolo - from my cookbook to your house!!
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
adapted from Family Cookbook
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 garlic cloves, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley plus more for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, salt the water and add the spaghetti. Cook according to the package directions to al dente. Drain spaghetti and return it to the pot, making sure to reserve a cup of the startchy cooking water.
Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until the bottoms of the shrimp turn color, about 30 seconds. Stir the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are colored on both sides. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and let the skillet cool for a few minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons of the oil back to the cooled pan. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring often, until the garlic foams and is sticky and straw-colored - about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, the tomatoes, sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.
Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, the parsley and the reserved shrimp and any accumulated juices into the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until the shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute.
Stir the tomato/shrimp mixture, plus the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the drained spaghetti. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen up the sauce before serving. Sprinkle with additional parsley.