This fra diavolo sauce recipe is an Italian classic sauce made with juicy tomatoes and fiery chili flakes, perfect for seafood and pasta.
We're cooking up some spicy Italian tomato sauce in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends. Italian food isn't known for being very spicy, but they do have their spicy dishes and sauces.
One particular sauce is called Fra Diavolo Sauce, and if you love Italian sauces, this is one you're surely going to love. "Fra Diavolo" means "Brother Devil" and it is a spicy sauce usually served with seafood. It is typically a spicy tomato sauce and spiced with lots of red chili flake, though sometimes isn't tomato-based.
It is wonderful with seafood like shrimp and fish, and perfectly made for pastas like penne and linguine. The great thing about it is it's so easy to make, with just a bit of cooking and simmering.
So let's do this!
Let's talk about how to make fra diavolo sauce, shall we?
Fra Diavolo Sauce Ingredients
- Oil for Cooking. 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Onion and Garlic. Use 1 small onion and 4 cloves garlic (or more to your personal tastes).
- Peppers. Use 1 spicy red pepper, chopped. You have many options here. Italian peppers are not typically spicy, but Calabrian chilies have a nice kick, or you can use Calabrian chili paste. Or, use a cayenne pepper or a red serrano for a higher level of heat. A red jalapeno pepper or Fresno pepper will give you a bit of kick.
- Tomatoes. I use a 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, though you can use diced or even the equivalent amount of fresh chopped tomatoes. Try using fire roasted tomatoes for an extra flavor bonus.
- Chili Flakes. I use several teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes, to my preference, but start with 1-2 teaspoons and adjust from there.
- White Wine. Use 1/2 cup dry white wine.
- Dried Oregano. Use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Salt and Pepper. To taste.
- Fresh Herbs. Use 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 6-7 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
How to Make Fra Diavolo Sauce - the Recipe Method
Onion, Peppers and Garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic. You can also use a large pot if making a big batch sauce.
Tomatoes and Seasonings. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juices, red chili flakes, white wine, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the Pasta Sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes (or longer) to let the flavor develop.
Fresh Herbs. Stir in the parsley and basil leaves. Taste and adjust for salt.
Serve with any pasta dish or seafood, like Shrimp Fra Diavolo.
Boom! Done! Looks wonderful, doesn't it? Makes me want to smother some pasta and get eating! Nice and spicy for sure, but easy to adjust to your own preferences.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Heat Level. Medium. You can really spice this up with lots of spicy chili flakes and your choice of hot pepper. For a milder version, skip the fresh pepper and use only 1 teaspoon chili flakes.
- Serving. This is great with any cooked pasta, though perfect with seafood, especially shrimp.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this fra diavolo sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it and how you serve it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. I love this recipe.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Fra Diavolo Sauce in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 3-4 days. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate it promptly.
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Fra Diavolo Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 spicy red pepper chopped (optional, for extra spicy)
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes or use diced, or fire roasted
- 2 teaspoons spicy red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 6-7 fresh basil leaves chopped
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic.
- Add the crushed tomatoes with their juices, red chili flakes, white wine, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 10 minutes (or longer) to let the flavor develop.
- Stir in the parsley and basil leaves. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Serve with pasta or seafood, like Shrimp Fra Diavolo.