Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

This is my first recipe posted since June 16th.   On June 20th, I came home from a 14-hour day at work to find my beautiful, 4-year-old pug, Memphis, dead.  Without explanation.  My world shattered.  Posting recipes seemed so trivial & like an insult to my loss.  I still cry almost every day.  I cried when I opened this blog & saw my last post – explaining my absence here.  He was one of the very, very special ones & I miss him agonizingly.  So – please pardon me if I just post this recipe & have nothing much more to say.

This is VERY easy, very spicy (but you can adjust that) and a very rare seafood recipe from me.  I gave up seafood three years ago or so – but I could not resist this squid ink pasta when I saw it & shrimp seemed the best way to serve it.  So – without further adieu – let me present my Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta.




Fiery Shrimp fra Diavolo with Squid Ink Pasta

Serves 2


1/2 lb squid ink pasta (or any pasta of your choice)

1/2 to 1 lb raw shrimp – shelled & cleaned

1 TBS olive oil

5 oz – 10 oz cherry tomatoes – halved (reserve a few for garnish)

1-6 garlic cloves – sliced, crushed or whole (or to taste)

1-3 jalapenos – chopped (or to taste)

1 tsp to 1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 cup pasta sauce of choice


Chopped parsley










Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile – heat the olive oil & ad the jalapenos & tomatoes.  saute over high heat until the tomatoes soften a bit.  Add the crushed red pepper & garlic & saute one minute.  Add the tomato sauce & heat until bubbly.








Add S&P to taste.  Just before the pasta is done – add the shrimp to the sauce & cook through – being careful not to overcook the shrimp.

Drain the pasta & toss with the sauce.  Serve garnished with fresh, chopped parsley & quartered, raw cherry tomatoes.





Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Homemade Pepper Penne

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


The penne here require THIS amazing Kitchenaid pasta press and the stand mixer.  If you do not have these things, dry pasta is fine or make a homemade pasta of a different shape.

I sliced the garlic for this recipe with this handy dandy garlic slicer.  They are inexpensive & great for paper thin garlic slices.



Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Homemade Pepper Penne


For the pasta

400 grams (or 1 3/4 cups) flour

4 eggs

1 TBS pepper

1 tsp salt

OR – 1 lb dry pasta of your choice


For the Shrimp Diavolo

3 TBS olive oil

20 shrimp – peeled & cleaned

8 cloves garlic – sliced thin

1 TBS (or less – to taste) crushed red pepper

1 29 oz can of either crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

2 tomatoes – diced

1/2 cup dry vermouth (or dry white wine) – optional

1 TBS oregano

20 basil leaves – some chopped – some for garnish

Parsley – chopped

S&P to taste

Additional olive oil to drizzle as garnish – (optional)

Additional crushed red pepper – as garnish (optional)



For the pasta

Homemade pasta directions HERE

Or use dry pasta & the package directions.


For the shrimp diavolo

Salt & pepper the shrimp & let sit for 15 minutes or so.



Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan & saute the shrimp until just pink – until almost done.  Try not to overcook.  Put them on a plate & set aside.


Add 2 more TBS olive oil to the pan & add the garlic & crushed red pepper.  Saute about a minute then add the canned tomatoes – being careful not to get burned when it splatters (and it will).   Add the diced tomatoes, oregano, vermouth, 1 tsp salt & a handful each of the chopped basil & parsley (reserving some of both for garnish).  Simmer on medium heat about 15 minutes or until it thickens to your taste.


Just before serving, add the cooked shrimp just long enough to heat through.  You might want to save a few to top each serving as garnish.

Mix your pasta with the sauce & then garnish with additional shrimp, parsley & basil.  Drizzle each serving with olive oil (if desired) and additional crushed red pepper to taste.



La Sirena Azul in Inglewood, California

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


Another airport run – another opportunity to sample some of Inglewood’s finest.  This place is ON Century, about 5 minutes (3 miles?) away from LAX.   It is a perfect stop if you want to send folks off to their destinations full of awesome Mexican food.

As of today, with 19 reviews, this place only got three reviews that were not 5 stars.  That is pretty amazing – especially considering the TINY size of this place, absolute lack of curb appeal and its lowbrow interior (lack of) decor…and the fact that people are always more likely to take the time to talk shit about someplace – rather than saying something nice.



There are 7 tables in there & a TV playing Spanish Judge Judy court shows.  Surprisingly, they have a small selection of beer – critical for my boyfriend’s satisfaction.  Chips & salsa were delivered promptly.


We ordered way more food than we needed – mainly because I wanted to try so many things.  I ordered the shrimp ceviche tostada, the cold shrimp cocktail (yes, they offered it warm, too) and fish tacos.  Miles ordered their Diablo spicy Shrimp.  The salsa was decent – not award winning & the chips were standard, too, but the ceviche tostada was beautiful & super fresh & tasty and served with wedges of avocado.


The shrimp cocktail was served in a huge goblet in a very thin broth with shrimp & giant chunks of avocado.  It wasn’t very pretty – sorta like an uncared-for fish tank – but it was delicious, too!


My fish tacos were tasty & HUGE and filled with fish & corn & lima beans & green beans and peas.  They were served with rice & an iceberg salad – with even more avocado.


Miles’ dish was served with salad & rice, too, and was genuinely spicy & really flavorful.  Both Miles & I have a pretty high tolerance for heat but Miles commented a few times on how hot the shrimp were and even asked for a glass of water (unheard of!).  I only ate one shrimp & would just say – they are definitely hot but not blow-your-mouth-out hot.  Certainly, however, too hot for a sensitive mouth.


When we arrived at 12:30pm, we were the only ones there.  It began to fill up pretty quickly, however, and all the food I saw being delivered to other tables looked amazing & substantial (as to quantity).  Miles & I could easily have split an entree & been fine.  As it was, I went home with half his food & a fish taco.

The bill with two beers & a diet Coke (and the two appetizers – ceviche tostada $2 & shrimp cocktail $7) & two entrees (each about $10) came to $42.  That might seem high but remember – two beers & WAY too much food.  You could get in & out of here for far less.  And – whether you order light or go nuts – I absolutely recommend this joint with complete enthusiasm.  We all go to the airport – so you have no excuse!