Spaghetti Fra Diavolo


The translation of “Fra Diavolo” is “brother devil”, and it refers to the heat in the sauce from the red pepper flakes. Despite it’s fancy name, this is actually quite a simple recipe. I have an affinity for a very simple yet flavorful sauce. Although the sauce is spicy, it is still light, which makes it perfect for summer nights. Considering the few ingredients, fresh summer tomatoes are ideal for this sauce, but most grocery stores carry decent tomatoes throughout all seasons. I like to use both fresh as well as the canned fire roasted tomatoes in this sauce. I enjoy the smoky flavor the roasted tomatoes lend, however, feel free to use just fresh tomatoes.  Keep it simple or add some shrimp or mussels to elevate the dish. Fast, simple, and fresh, serve this up with some parmesan cheese and a hunk of crusty bread and a bold red wine.


  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (use less for a milder sauce)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese for garnish


Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to box instructions. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, heat the oil for a minute or so and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Add the pepper flakes and cook for another minute or so. Add tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the herbs and stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce, tossing to coat with the sauce. Remove from heat. Garnish with herbs and grated parmesan. Serve immediately.

Servings: 6

Jenn Knapp

About Jenn Knapp

Jenn is a self-taught home cook who's passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients. She's a stay-at-home mother of two constantly looking for innovative ways to encourage her kids to be healthy and adventurous eaters.