Lobster Fra Diavolo

Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe, Fish Friday Foodies, spicy tomato sauce with lobster and pasta

Lobster Fra Diavolo

Lobster Fra Diavolo (Italian for Brother Devil) is a spicy sauce that is perfect for pasta and seafood. This recipe for Fra Diavolo uses Serrano chilies with the ribs and seeds; it’s easy to control the heat, either to intensify it or to mute it. And, while it looks impressive, this is a simple dish. Have you guessed? It’s Fish Friday Foodies day again; this month, Seafood Pasta! 

I have been traveling a lot this summer and early fall. It has been a whirlwind of one trip after another. Interestingly, every place I have gone, seafood has been the star of the area. I’ve gotten to try so many different and really wonderful dishes filled with the bounty of the sea.

One of my trips was with my girlfriends from Nashville (The Nashville Girls), to Maine. Before we departed, I proclaimed I was going to eat all of the lobsters. While I didn’t come close, I certainly ate a bunch of lobster!

The first night I had gotten us reservations at a fabulous Italian restaurant in Portland, Maine. It was located in the cobblestone street section of the city, down a little alleyway. We walked there from our hotel and as we got close, the aroma from the restaurant was mouth-watering. Two of us ordered a lobster and pasta dish they make; it was outstanding. It wasn’t this one, but it did make me think of this dish for this month’s Fish Friday Foodies challenge of Seafood Pasta.

Fra Diavolo, as I said, is a spicy sauce that is used for pasta or seafood (or both, in this case). The “spice” comes from the use of chili peppers. I’ve used Serrano chilies in mine, but you can use whatever form you like best. You can control the heat by adding more chilies, or lower the heat by adding less chilies or by removing the ribs and pith of the chilies. It’s up to you. This recipe isn’t blazing hot, though.

I used whole lobster for my recipe, but you can certainly use pieces of lobster if you don’t want to deal with the head. Mr. Saucy and I love the tomalley (the green stuff in a whole lobster).  Lobster tails, since they are more readily available would be great on their own.

For this recipe, I started my sauce with olive oil, shallots, garlic and a combination of extra-dry vermouth and brandy. Once to this point, I added the lobster to the pan, covered it and allowed the lobster to steam, before removing it to a warm pan to hold. By steaming the lobster in this liquid, the sauce gets a subtle essence of the lobster.


After the lobster is removed, I added red bell peppers, the Serrano chile, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, oregano, parsley, salt and ground black pepper. This sauce simmers for only about 20 minutes; just enough time to bring some water to a boil and cook the pasta.

Want to knock someone’s socks off? Try this recipe. It’s not only impressive looking, it’s simple and utterly delicious.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Lobster Fra Diavolo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lobster Fra Diavolo (Brother Devil) is a traditional Italian dish of pasta and lobster with a spicy red sauce.
Serves: 2-4 servings
  • 2 - 1-1¼ pound lobster (or just tails, if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots (about ½ cup) minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • ¾ cup extra-dry vermouth (or dry white wine)
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 small red bell pepper (about ½ cup), diced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh serrano chile, with seeds and ribs (or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 1 -28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (I crush the whole tomatoes with my hands before adding to the sauce)
  • 1 -15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces linguine, cooked al dente according to package instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vermouth and brandy and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the lobster, cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes for whole lobster (5 minutes for just tails).
  5. Remove the lobster to another pan, cover and set aside.
  6. To the original skillet, add the bell pepper, serrano chilies, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, parsley, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt and ground black pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors blend together, 20 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  8. Add the linguine and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, and set aside.
  9. Once the sauce has cooked for 20 minutes, add the drained pasta to the sauce and using tongs, toss to combine.
  10. Serve on plates with lobster pieces.
  11. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Be sure to check out all the other Seafood Pasta recipes posted by other bloggers in the links below!

About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
This entry was posted in Entrée, Fish, Living in Elegant Simplicity, Saucy Southerner Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Lobster Fra Diavolo

  1. Wendy Klik says:

    It is very beautiful. A great presentation for a dinner party. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen says:

    Your lobster is so perfectly red! What a gorgeous and delicious sounding dish! I love lobster and I love spicy food. I’ll definitely have to try this.

  3. Sid says:

    I’m simply going to have to try my hand at this. Love the spice and this would work well with the ‘dozer’ tails we get here.

  4. Caroline says:

    There’s a high chance I have been in the same restaurant you are talking about in Portland, Maine, although I know there are a few 🙂 Don’t you love how fantastic he lobsters are there and how it’s everywhere? This dish looks like a great way to remember the trip and so delicious too. Thanks for joining this month’s theme!

    • It was Street and Company…Is it the same? We traveled all up and down the coast from Portland, but that was my favorite meal (except maybe lobster BLT I had eating outside next to the harbor in Camden). I adored how fantastic the lobster was there! P~

  5. April says:

    Wow, this looks like something served in a fancy restaurant, I’m impressed.

  6. sneha datar says:

    Looks too tempting, great presentation.

  7. This looks amazing, P! YUM, YUM!! I love lobster and this preparation looks especially divine!

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