Do you ever reach for jarred sauce? I do from time to time, especially on weeknights. Quality ones are made with a short list of fresh-tasting, flavorful ingredients, but then I almost always doctor that sauce up a bit.

Turns out I am in good company.

If I needed permission — or encouragement — to take this short cut, I got it from Ina Garten in her new cookbook, “Modern Comfort Food” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), in which she makes a Shrimp and Linguine Fra Diavolo using jarred arrabbiata sauce.

Arrabbiata sauce is like marinara’s sexy cousin. Garten also includes a recipe for the sauce in her cookbook. It makes about 4 cups, but calls for a whole cup of garlic cloves, about 3 heads, as well as crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper, along with fennel seeds and a generous splash of red wine.

It takes about an hour to make, including about 30 minutes simmering time and the time needed to peel all that garlic.

The sauce’s spiciness — jarred or homemade — makes it the perfect base for the fra diavolo sauce, which means “Brother Devil.” The light, tomato-based sauce is heated up with dried or fresh chile peppers and most often served with seafood and pasta.

For the Shrimp and Linguine Fra Diavolo, Garten recommends ramping up the arrabbiata with thinly sliced, sauteed red onion, more crushed red pepper flakes, white wine and, of course, more garlic.

I tried the dish both ways, making her homemade sauce and using the jarred one (she recommended Rao’s), and, frankly, could not tell that much difference. Both produced a warm pasta doused in a flavorful sauce that is born to be eaten from a big bowl on a cold night.

Don’t like shrimp? Make it with sauteed chicken or your favorite sausage — or skip the meat completely.

Garten adds crunch by sprinkling buttery toasted breadcrumbs tossed with parsley and pepper. It’s the perfect finish.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 8 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (16-to-20-count), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red onion (about 1 large, 10 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons minced or grated garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar arrabbiata sauce or other spicy pasta sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound linguine

Step 1

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the panko and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper.

Step 2

On a large plate, spread out the shrimp, pat them dry and sprinkle with the remaining black pepper.

In the same large pot over medium heat, add the remaining butter and the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp in as close to a single layer as possible, and cook until they just start to turn pink but are not cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid reduces a bit, about 2 minutes.

Step 3

Stir in the arrabbiata sauce and heat until it bubbles around the edges. Stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons of parsley. Taste and add more pepper as needed. Turn off the heat.

Step 4

In a large pot of salted boiling water over medium-high heat, add the linguine and cook according to package instructions for al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water and drain.

Step 5

Add 1/4 cup pasta water to the shrimp mixture and stir to combine. If it seems too thick, add more pasta water a tablespoon at a time. Then, add the pasta and, using big spoons or tongs, toss it with the shrimp. Let sit until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce, about 1 minute, adding more pasta water and re-tossing, if needed, to coat the strands.

Step 6

Transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl, sprinkle with the toasted panko and serve.

Nutrition Information

(Makes 6 servings)

Calories: 537; Total Fat: 18 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 134 mg; Sodium: 990 mg; Carbohydrates: 71 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugar: 7 g; Protein: 25 g.

Adapted from “Modern Comfort Food” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2020).

Tested by Ann Maloney; email questions to

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