I think nearly every single gift I received for Christmas this year was food-related, and I couldn’t be happier about it. A few of the items were things I had asked for (my All-Clad sauté pan and these cute oven mitts, for example) but probably my favorite gift came from my brother-in-law. He gave me The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. This was actually on my list last year but I didn’t get it, and forgot to ask for it again this year. It was a huge surprise to both of us – to me, because I hadn’t even mentioned that I wanted it to anyone, and to him, because he was taking a shot in the dark when he picked it out. Well, I don’t think he could have done any better. This book is even better than I could have imagined. I’ve already made several recipes from it and each one has been spectacular. (Can you guess what I’ll be doing for my next giveaway?!) I am just having so much fun with it!
This was the first recipe I tried from the book, and it made for a great dinner. Of course, I have yet to meet a shrimp pasta dish that I don’t like, but this was delish! According to the book, fra diavolo is Italian and means “brother devil”, apparently in reference to the kick provided by the garlic red pepper flakes. Honestly I didn’t think this was spicy at all and I would double the amount of red pepper flakes next time, but it was still very tasty. The amount of garlic seems like a ton, and I was hesitant to add it all, but I figured I would try it once and it actually seemed to be just right – garlicky for sure, but not too much. Two other things I love about this meal are that it involves flambéing (so fun!) and it comes together quickly so it would be fine for a weeknight. This is a dinner we’ll be returning to very soon :)