Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pasta and prawns

OK, for the inaugural recipe I decided to keep it simple and use my most recent recipe. Jon loved it and the kids ate it as long as I picked the tomato skins out first. :-) I didn't use a recipe and I didn't keep track of quantities. So, I'm gonna wing it.

To amp up the nutritional benefits of this dish, you can make some important choices: whole wheat pasta, organic if possible; local prawns (in BC we have great spot prawns that are harvested sustainably and are less likely to contain chemicals than frozen imported ones - full disclosure, I had to go with frozen ones because that is what I had); increase the amount of tomatoes (you could double them without hurting this dish); omit the cream or substitute low-fat cream (I know it exists but I can't attest to how well it stands up to heating in a dish like this); and serve with steamed broccoli and a leafy green salad.

Note: I used deveined, shell-on prawns so we had to go through the messy work of peeling the prawns as we ate - which involved lots of finger licking. :-) If you don't want to do this, peel them before adding them to the pan.


Pasta for four (I used linguine but you could easily use penne, rotini or even angel hair - just watch the cooking time)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs crushed or minced garlic
Two big handfuls of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a yummy BC Riesling)
454 grams large raw prawns (I used shell on, frozen prawns and thawed them before cooking)
1/4 cup of cream (can be omitted)
Stock or water
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh marjoram or oregano, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Put water on to boil. I used linguine and it takes under 10 minutes to cook. The sauce takes about 15 minutes start to finish - so if you get the water boiling at the beginning you can just chuck the noodles in the pot when you are five minutes into making the sauce.
  2. Heat a skillet or large saute pan on medium high. Swirl twice around the pan with the olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add your garlic. Saute very briefly until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. 
  3. Add the tomatoes. Saute for a minute or so till they start to soften, pressing on some of them with your wooden spoon to get the juices out. (During this stage is when I would pop the noodles in the water.) 
  4. Add the wine. Allow sauce to simmer a few moments to burn off some of the alcohol and thicken slightly. 
  5. Add the prawns and cook briefly, flipping them so they cook evenly. 
  6. When the prawns are just starting to turn pink on all sides, add the cream and enough water or stock to make a nice sauce (I would guess it is about a cup in total between the cream and water/stock). 
  7. Add lots of fresh parmesan cheese, marjoram or oregano, salt and pepper. 
  8. If you've timed this well, you should be able to now drain the noodles and add them to the sauce in the pan, adding extra pasta water if required to loosen the sauce.
  9. Serve, passing extra parmesan and ground pepper at the table.

Serve with a salad.

I should have taken pictures. It was really pretty. If I make this again, I'll be sure to add them then.

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