Pasta with Prawns
The other night I asked my daughter what we should make for dinner. We had guests coming over and I wanted to enlist her help. She is nearly six, but pretty good in the kitchen. She started with shrimp and proceed to give me directions for this recipe. I suspect that she was working off of her favorite linguine with clams, but regardless of the inspiration the dish turned out to be a delicious improvisation.
Serves: about 6
- about 1 lb of uncooked shrimp (deveined and peeled)
- ½ bottle (or 2 cups) of a dry white wine
- 1 lb bag of favorite pasta
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 to 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 or 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 3 or 4 handfuls of chopped Italian parsley
- A few good sprinkles of cayenne pepper
- 1 large Pot for cooking pasta
- The largest non-reactive skillet you can find
- Large colander
- Strainer lined with paper towels
- Medium bowl
- Fill a pot with water so that it is high enough to boil pasta and bring to a boil. When water has reached a full boil add a pinch of salt and then the pasta. Cook pasta to desired texture, strain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil.
- Fry 2 or 3 shrimp in skillet. Remove. When cool dice the cooked shrimp into tiny pieces. Set aside.
- Add onion to oil and sauté over medium low heat for five or more minutes until onions turn soft, translucent and sweet.
- Add garlic to onions. Throw in a few handfuls of chopped Italian parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for two minutes.
- Add the wine and continue to sauté.
- Add tomatoes and cooked/diced shrimp, and the uncooked shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turns pink and is just barely cooked through.
- Add the pasta, toss well, turn the heat down low and let the pasta absorb the flavor of the sauce for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy.
What you should know
To use the good olive or the cheap olive, that is the question. Often with a dish like this I would recommend using a good cheap olive oil. But if you are willing to simmer over a slightly lower heat and spend a little more time and money, a good olive oil can kick this dish up to a whole new level. For the special occasions it’s worth it.
In my kitchen and for my family there is only one linguine that I use and that is rustichelia d’abruzzo. It’s the only pasta that I’ve found that actually absorbs that delectable clam flavor into its very pores while retaining a rich texture. If you know of another please let us know in the comments below.