Devlish spice makes pasta dish divine

December 19, 2004

Diavolo is Italian for devil; fra diavolo means brother devil - and when used to describe food it could mean something has a wicked peppery bite.

In this low-fat pasta fra diavolo dish, there indeed is a spirited touch of red pepper to give a kick to the tomato and shrimp sauce that's tossed with linguine.

A heavenly idea, it turns out. The recipe is from the new paperback edition of "Family Circle Eat What You Love and Lose" (Reagan Books, 2004, paperback $14.95) by Family Circle magazine food director Peggy Katalinich. The cookbook was first published in hardback in 2003.

The book features "quick and easy diet recipes from our test kitchen." There are about 250 of the recipes and the story behind them is worth bearing in mind: The test kitchen team wanted to lose weight, so its members tested and developed these recipes as a permanent plan for healthful eating. The plan worked for them - and the recipes are offered for anyone else to try on that recommendation.

Pasta Fra Davolo

(Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time about 22 minutes)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced

28-ounce can whole tomatoes

8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

3/4 pound linguine

1 1/4 pounds medium-size shrimp in shells, cleaned

1/2 pound surimi (imitation crab), shredded

1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saut 8 minutes or until softened, without letting garlic brown.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, breaking up tomatoes with wooden spoon; simmer over medium heat 10 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, cook linguine in large, deep pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, firm yet tender.

Stir shrimp into sauce; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in surimi; heat through, about 1 minute.

Drain linguine. Toss with shrimp sauce. Garnish with basil.

Serves 8.

Nutrition information per serving: 285 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 929 mg sodium, 86 mg cholesterol.

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