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
  • Tongs
  • Large colander
  • Strainer lined with paper towels
  • Medium bowl



  1. 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.


  1. Meanwhile, coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil.
  2. Fry 2 or 3 shrimp in skillet. Remove. When cool dice the cooked shrimp into tiny pieces. Set aside.
  3. Add onion to oil and sauté over medium low heat for five or more minutes until onions turn soft, translucent and sweet.
  4. Add garlic to onions. Throw in a few handfuls of chopped Italian parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for two minutes.
  5. Add the wine and continue to sauté.
  6. Add tomatoes and cooked/diced shrimp, and the uncooked shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turns pink and is just barely cooked through.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Re: Pasta with Prawns