Spaghetti alla Fra Diavolo con Vongole

Friday, April 11, 2008


I seem to be falling apart these days! I’ve never been particularly accident prone, but lately I’ve really been taking a beating. About a week ago, I told you about my little spill in the kitchen, where I injured my foot. Well, I broke my toe and really bruised the hell out of that foot. I’m still not able to wear closed shoes! Of course, the fact that I dropped a can of refried beans on said same foot a few days later didn’t help the situation much. Nor did the fact that I smacked it into the living room coffee table last Sunday night when the power suddenly cut out in the middle of a thunderstorm, and I was scrambling for a flashlight.

Now might also be a good time to mention about how I tripped over my tripod and rammed my shoulder into the wall while taking photographs, when the rubber sole of my flip flops got stuck on the carpet. Of course, that seems a little bit lame now that I’m sitting here with a pinkie finger swollen to the size of Florida after getting it smashed in the door of my car yesterday! Oh yes, people, I kid you not.

After picking Mini-SGCC up from school, we decided to stop at the supermarket to pick up a few things. We loaded our bags into the back seat. I leaned into the passenger side of the front seat to drop in my purse and BAM! Mini-SGCC slammed the back door right on my hand! My LEFT hand. Did I mention that I’m left-handed? I panicked! She panicked! And we both stood there like stones for what seemed like forever.

I guess I finally screamed loud enough to get through to her and she opened the door and released me. I have to tell you, I was scared $%&#less to take a look at that hand! It wasn’t because it hurt so much, but because it didn’t really hurt that much. I was terrified that something might not be there, that was there before – if you know what I mean.

While Mini-SGCC was hysterically trying to dial my husband on her cell phone, I collected myself and took a look. Hmm. One, two, three, four, five. Okay, all present and accounted for. Whew! THAT was a relief, but that hand was turning that same interesting eggplant color that my foot had. And, my little pinkie finger was blowing up right before my eyes. Not good.

I loaded my sniffling child in the car and backed out of my parking space. Then, I threw it in drive, stepped on the gas and…..nothing. Huh? I tried again and…..still nothing. The gas pedal didn’t work. I pushed down on it and it just flopped to the floor. Great! I coasted over to the curb in front of the market and called AAA. An hour and a half later, I was still waiting. But hey, at least I wasn’t focusing on my mangled hand, right?
..
Very long story, short – the thingy that connects the accelerator to whatever it is that makes the car go was broken. The AAA guy towed us to my mechanic’s place and my husband picked us up and took us home.

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. Well, here’s mine. When the power went out on Sunday night, I was in the middle of preparing a delicious fra diavolo sauce for dinner. Everything went black in mid-simmer. Since we had no idea how long we’d be without electricity, we hopped in the car and went to Chili’s. That meant that I still had that batch of sauce to use. I didn’t really feel like cooking, but I didn’t feel like going out either, so I put some water on to boil for pasta, heated up the sauce and dinner was born.



Fra Diavolo sauce is a spicy sauce used in pasta and seafood dishes. Most versions are tomato-based and use dried red pepper flakes for spice. The term literally means Brother Devil. It was originally a nickname given to Michele Pezza, a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader in the late 18th century, who resisted the French occupation of Naples. Shrimp and lobster fra diavolo are the most popular ingredients paired with fra diavolo sauce, but any seafood will work. Since I had initially tossed this sauce together for a quick Sunday night supper, I just used canned clams.

This dish is every bit as simple as my recipe for Linguine with Clam Sauce. The only difference is that crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes are added in as well. Any kind of long pasta can be used. I used spaghetti this time. It is a zesty and flavorful dish that can be whipped up with one hand tied behind your back, (or packed in ice). So, the next time you’re having a crappy day and you need some fast and easy carb therapy, you might want to give this a try.



If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:

26 responses to Spaghetti alla Fra Diavolo con Vongole

  1. On April 11, 2008 at 10:26am, Aran said...

    OH MY GOODNESS!! A lot of stuff happening to you… poor thing… I hope your double injured foot is feeling better, your hand, your car… But you know what, there’s nothing that a good plate of pasta cannot cure right? I want some!

  2. On April 11, 2008 at 12:09pm, Chris said...

    Holy Moly! You need to take a “pamper-me” day after all of that!

    Ater all that, a fabulous Fra Diavolo. Amazing! Thanks for the mention. :) I will let Sharon know, too!

  3. On April 11, 2008 at 12:23pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    LOL~sorry, but I am laughing my ass off here at the expense of your misfortune.

    I have not eaten at Chili’s in forever. Last time we were there….they sat us right by the hanging pepper and for some reason our child was scarrrred sh*tless of the pepper and cowered in his seat in hysterics until they were gracious enough to move us. Lil’ wuss was afraid of a hanging plastic 5 foot chili pepper.

  4. On April 11, 2008 at 12:29pm, Deborah said...

    Sounds like you are having a streak of good luck, aren’t you!! But this sauce sounds divine!

  5. On April 11, 2008 at 3:01pm, Gretchen Noelle said...

    I went from chuckling to a face struck with pain as I read this. I am just not sure what to tell you…bubble wrap yourself? Good gracious girl! Glad you got to go to Chili’s.

  6. On April 11, 2008 at 4:18pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Aran- You are so right! A good plate of pasta can definitely ease the pain! Lol!

    Chris- It was my pleasure. Your recipe was great!

    Obsessive- And I didn’t even tell you about how I burned my…um…bosom, while taking a cake pan out of the oven. I have a bright red “V” emblazoned on the right one! For God’s sake, someone hide the knives!

    Deborah- I’m a mess! ;) Glad you like the sauce!

    Gretchen- Bubble wrap! Hahahahaha! I love it!

  7. On April 11, 2008 at 5:11pm, Peter M said...

    Slow down girll, you need someone to pamper you. I’ll send over Chef Raphael to whip up a nice dish he stole for ya! lol

    Get well…

  8. On April 11, 2008 at 5:45pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    LOL Sticky……It is probably a “S” masquerading as a “V”

  9. On April 11, 2008 at 10:30pm, Bellini Valli said...

    Carb therapy is definitely recommended Susan with the week or two you have had. Thank goodness for delicious pasta to take your mind off of your injuries and the sympathy of family and friends.

  10. On April 11, 2008 at 11:52pm, Pixie said...

    OUUUUCCCCCCHHHHHHH!!!!!! girl, you need a holiday! ta so much for my cookies sweetie-will post about it hopefully by tomorrow

    Throwing canned clams into spaghetti, always worked for me!

  11. On April 12, 2008 at 1:28am, Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

    ooo gorgeous, I love vongole!!!

  12. On April 12, 2008 at 4:59am, Cakelaw said...

    Susan, you poor thing! If I had a genie, I would send you an extremely good looking male nurse to look after you for a week or two. Your spag bol looks terrific, swollen foot, broken toe, bruised finger and all. Get well soon!

  13. On April 12, 2008 at 5:14am, Helen said...

    Oh no! You poor thing! At least you had some delicious comfort food, I love clams!

  14. On April 12, 2008 at 10:00am, Grace said...

    i’ve always said that refried beans are dangerous…

  15. On April 12, 2008 at 12:14pm, Lore said...

    Oh boy! Susan you really aren’t the luckiest girl around these days. As I went on reading I couldn’t believe there was still something left that went wrong.
    Get well soon!

  16. On April 12, 2008 at 1:15pm, Patsyk said...

    I think you need to be wrapped in bubble wrap for a week or 2… at least until your current injuries heal! Do feel better soon!

    My hubby loves fra diavalo sauce… may have to indulge him and make it sometime soon. Great picture by the way!

  17. On April 12, 2008 at 4:30pm, Kevin said...

    It sounds like you are having a horrible string of luck. I hope it gets better soon.

    That pasta looks really good. This is the first that I have heard of a Fra Diavolo sauce. I will have to try it.

  18. On April 12, 2008 at 10:22pm, Sophie said...

    Ah, I always loved spicy tomato sauce, but now I know it actually has a name, thanks for the mini history lesson on the cool name too :P.

    Speaking of spicy, it definitely sounds like your week was far from bland! Sheesh! I hope your hand is better…and jeez…I always get frustrated when I bite my tongue and then keep biting it over and over again in the same spot, but I’ve never done that with a toe! You’re a tough cookie, hang in there! Glad your car’s fixed, though :).

  19. On April 13, 2008 at 7:09am, C.L. said...

    Ohhhh man! Did you have hubby take you to the hospital for your mangled hand? I am so sorry to hear about all your misfortune! That sucks! I will keep you in my thoughts..by the way…I LOVE Fra Diavola and Spaghetti Con Le Vongole…I had those two dishes all the time when I lived in Italy. Now I can combine them…BLESS YOU!!!

    Carrie

  20. On April 13, 2008 at 8:26am, Maryann said...

    You poor thing! Someone may have put the molocchio on you ;) You better go out and buy one of those red horn thingies to wear around your neck..or a garlic necklace! Yeah, that might work ;)

  21. On April 13, 2008 at 8:46am, Manggy said...

    Oh my God Susan, you need, like, a karmic cleansing or something. I don’t even believe in karma but that is just ridiculously unfortunate. I hope everything’s back to proper working order soon :(

    Meanwhile…

    Vongole is one of my favorite ever sauces– AND fra diablo! What are the chances?! We don’t get clam juice here, though :( (I guess I’ll just steam some fresh ones and make my own! :)

  22. On April 13, 2008 at 11:18am, RecipeGirl said...

    You poor dear. What a day (week.) Crazy how things sort of happen all at once.

    But hey, your dish looks great!

    Feel better- and be careful girl!!

  23. On April 13, 2008 at 12:16pm, Heather said...

    Holy crap, woman! When it rains, it pours, eh?

    Pasta doesn’t require a shitty day, for me at least. This looks like spicy perfection. I eat your fra diavolo. I EAT IT UP!

  24. On April 13, 2008 at 1:34pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Peter- Very funny! He would probably put arsenic in it! Now, if you were going to send Ming Tsai over…… ;)

    Obsessive- Nope. It’s “V” for virtuous!

    Val- Thanks! Unfortunately, I seem to be relying on “carb therapy” a lot these days! Could be trouble! :)

    Pixie- I do need a holiday. Can I come visit you? I love the UK!

    You’re very welcome. Enjoy them!

    Rachel- Thanks! I adore them too, any way, shape or form! :)

    Cakelaw- Oooh! That sounds like a great idea! Thanks! ;)

    Helen- I must admit, the pasta did take my mind off things for a little while.

    Grace- Hehehe! In more ways than one! ;)

    Lore- Thank you! I actually even left a few things out. Hopefully, my luck will turn around soon!

    Patsy- The bubble wrap is a great idea, Lol! I actually bought a roll for my Top Chef giveaways!

    Thanks, Kevin! If you try out the recipe, let me know how it turns out.

    Sophie- Glad you liked the dish! I do the same thing with the inside of my mouth. I’ll bite it once, then keep on nicking it in the same exact spot. Grrr!

    Carrie- I actually was going to the ER, but then my car wouldn’t drive! By the time I got to the mechanic’s, the panic wore off and I just went home. The finger is much better now. Just a little numb.

    Maryann- Don’t think THAT didn’t cross my mind! I do have one of those horns from my Nonna. I may have to dig it out. Maybe my friend, Chef Renato, did put the malocchio on me! :o

    Manggy- Thanks for the good wishes. Things are a bit better now.

    I can’t believe you don’t have clam juice there! Do you have canned clams. You can always use the broth from the cans and reduce it down a bit. Also, if you can find canned seafood stock or bouillon cubes.

    RecipeGirl- Thanks! I’ve actually gone several days now without incident.

    Glad you like the dish!

    Heather- Holy crap is right!

    Glad you’re feelin’ the pasta! I don’t need an excuse to scarf it down either! ;)

  25. On April 13, 2008 at 6:25pm, White On Rice Couple said...

    Sorry to hear about your toe and your hand Susan! But my oh my, if you can cook this delicious dish with one hand, limping around the kitchen with only 9 working toes, I’m impressed!

  26. On April 13, 2008 at 9:43pm, Proud Italian Cook said...

    I hurt just listening to your story! I hope everything heals up soon for you! :)

please post a comment...

kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

Just Browsing?
55 Knives
follow me!

    Follow Me on Pinterest



    Friday Food Lust



    Fine Cooking