Fast Recipes

Penne with prawns and fra diavolo sauce

Prawns, pasta and big whack of chilli. Sometimes it pays to play with fire.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
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Penne with prawns and fra diavolo sauce
Fra diavolo, "brother devil" in Italian, is a spicy sauce for pasta or seafood. Ramp up the heat with extra chilli if you like.


  • 500 gm dried penne
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 24 uncooked prawns, peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped
  • 3 birdseye chillies, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 600 gm tomato polpa
  • To serve: coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Toasted crumbs
  • 80 gm sourdough crumbs
  • 20 gm butter
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  • 1
    Cook penne in a saucepan of well-salted boiling water until al dente (10-14 minutes), then drain, reserving a little pasta water.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for toasted crumbs, combine ingredients except garlic in a large deep frying pan over medium heat until toasted, stirring in garlic in the last minute (4-5 minutes). Transfer
    to a plate and wipe out pan.
  • 3
    Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat, sauté garlic and rosemary until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then add prawns and chillies and stir until just starting to turn opaque (1 minute). Add polpa, bring to a simmer, season to taste and simmer until sauce is well flavoured, and prawns are cooked (2-3 minutes).
  • 4
    Add pasta to sauce, toss to combine and loosen with a little pasta water if necessary. Serve scattered with toasted crumbs and parsley.