16 Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 Large Sea Scallops, tough muscle removed
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 + Tsps. Calabrian chili flakes
1/2 Large onion, finely diced
5 Large Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 28-oz. cans San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp. Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
20 Grinds of fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp. Fresh Italian flat leafed parsley, chopped
8-12 Oz. Linguine, spaghetti, rigatoni or pasta of your choice
Shaved Parmesan (optional) to finish
1) Add the oil to a large skillet. Heat until hot but not smoking.
5) In a blender, add the two cans of whole tomatoes and blend until smooth (Or you can leave small pieces of tomato. This is completely a matter of preference.) Add to the onion and garlic mixture and stir to combine.
7) Meanwhile, boil a large stock pot of water to cook the pasta. Make sure you season it heavily with kosher salt…the water should be very salty. Taste it!
9) Meanwhile, prep your shell fish. Make sure you remove the tough muscle from the scallops and pat dry. Remove the shell and tai from the shrimp for easy eating. (You can leave the tail intact, but be sure the rest of the shell is removed after deveining. You can often find these already prepared in the seafood section of the supermarket. Last, to prep your lobster tails, I cut them with a kitchen scissors down the shell all the way to the tail. Then flip them over and cut through the under belly all the way to the tail. Take a knife and cut completely through. You should how have 8 halves of lobster tails. Gently lift the lobster meat from the shell then place it back into the shell. This will make eating it much easier for your guests. Cook the lobster in the shell in the sauce for maximum flavor.
12) Always controversial is whether or not to use Parmesan cheese on shellfish. Over the years, I’ve noticed more and more people going with cheese. I always have so I shave some Parmesan on top of each plate (just use a vegetable peeler for this task) and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Enjoy.
NOTES: If you like spicy food, or have had Fra Diavolo pasta in the past, Seafood Arrabbiata should be in your regular rotation. This seafood sauce gets it’s heat from the use of Calabrian chili flakes and you can control the heat with how much you use. I’d start with two teaspoons (very hot for me but I’m a bit of a wimp) and go up to four if your taste buds allow. This sauce is so flavorful with the use of garlic and onion and a lot of dried herbs.
Shellfish is a favorite of mine and you’ll see me use it in all kinds of preparations. This dish is a classic NYC dish I had all the time when I lived there. It is commonly found on Italian restaurant menus and you may see it referred to as angry spaghetti in some local spots. The “angry” comes from the heat so you decide how angry your dish will be.
Traditionally, you’ll see spaghetti arrabbiata or linguine arrabbiata on the menu and those two pasta choices work great in this recipe. Actually, any pasta all’arrabbiata works so if you want to try other pasta shapes, try rigatoni arrabbiata or penne as substitutions.
When it comes to the shell fish you use in this dish, I always recommend going with your favorites and/or with what is fresh. The use of mussels or clams is very common, although on this day at the seafood market, I went with the shrimp, scallops and lobster. Yes, this can get pricey, so I tend to pull this out on the holidays and when I’m having guests for dinner.
But, a real affordable way to make this dish is to do just shrimp arrabbiata. Grab a couple of bags of shrimp when they are on sale, and you can have this very affordable meal anytime.
Finally, the never ending debate over whether to use cheese on seafood. Die hard Italian chefs usually say no. I’m not Italian (but boy do I love their food) and I use the cheese. As far as I’m concerned, Parm makes everything better. But, you decide. And don’t forget the garlic bread. Would it be Italian without it?
If you like this dish, be sure to try some of my other favorite Italian dishes like: