This week's Craving Ellie In My Belly recipe was chosen by Jennifer of The Rookie Baker. It was Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Spinach, and it was excellent! I knew I'd like it, just based on the list of ingredients, but I had no idea how much I'd love it.
The preparation is fast and simple. Cook up some red onions in a skillet, followed by some garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and some salt and pepper. I had no white wine on hand, so I used some red instead. I thought it tasted great, and it tinted my onions an even purpley-er (invented word alert!) color, so it was kinda fun to look at, too. I did whir up my can of diced tomatoes with my immersion blender, so there would be no discernible chunks.
After a brief simmering period, you throw in your shrimp and some fresh spinach. The shrimp I used was already cooked, so I put them in last and just warmed them through. The spinach wilted down nicely, and gave the dish a nice, vibrant dash of color.
I guess the reason Ellie recommends the diced tomatoes is because if you use tomato puree, the sauce becomes a bit too thin, too runny. That's what ended up happening with my sauce. At the end of cooking, the sauce was sort of all pooled up on the bottom of my skillet and not so mixed up with the other components. It all worked out fine in the end; I just scooped up some of that sauce when dishing it up and spooned it down over the top.
As for the taste, I was pleasantly surprised! As I said before, I knew I would like this meal, but I didn't know it would have so much flavor. The crushed red pepper really did give everything a good kick, and the wine imparted tons of depth. The tomatoes were perfectly tart, the oregano gave it a nice Italian feel, and the shrimp was succulent and perfect. I don't think I'd change anything about this dish (other than what I already changed, of course!), which is saying quite a lot. I almost always change up a recipe, even if just a little. But this one is wonderful as is.
I had a hard time finding the full recipe online, but I found half of it! The ingredients list for this recipe can be found here.
As for the directions, they're simple:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente and according to the directions on the package.
2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the red onion and preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, then the onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the shrimp and spinach and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the drained, cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until well combined.