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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

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Editor's Note: Please enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

On my only trip to Italy I learned an important lesson. When it comes to food, it’s not how creative you can be but how authentic.

While we traveled around, I kept looking for the Italian restaurants that would serve what I referred to as “modern Italian.” I wanted crazy, creative Italian food and I thought I was in the mecca of Italian creativity, so I should find it easily.

Not so much.

What I found were traditional dishes. And what I learned is Italians rate their food based on how authentic it tastes. If the sauce tastes like the one their grandmother made, then it’s proper Italian food. In Italy, restaurants brag about their sauces and the history behind them. When you listen to Italians talk about their food they are talking about how to master a recipe that is decades old; not inventing a new one.

I did finally find what I was looking for in one restaurant in Milan. Milan is probably Italy’s most modern city, the center of fashion, so it makes sense that I found my “modern Italian” in Milan, but it took 12 days of traveling before I found it.


The Italian grandmas in the video at the link below have been asked to rate Olive Garden’s food...

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This is a traditional Italian Dish that is known for spice. It’s also usually served over pasta so you’ll see that this one can be served as a stew in a bowl or over sautéed zucchini noodles. You’ll never miss the pasta. I have given you a range for adding the heat so what I’d recommend is you start on the lower side of the scale, taste it after it’s been cooking for a bit and crank up the heat later or even after you serve it. That way everyone gets custom heat in their dish.


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