This Prawn Pasta is another version of the tuna & pea pasta that I’ve just posted. Here, this is by far the nicer. Again, it’s incredibly simple to make. And, again I’m cheating by using frozen Jumbo King prawns instead of the hassle of cooking fresh. Although, fresh prawns poached in a little stock and cream would allow for an even better sauce. Still, this is midweek fodder.
The differences here are: shallots and pan-fried mushrooms, both cooked separately and added to the sauce. As I’ve stated I’ve used frozen prawns. Usually with frozen fish and certain seafoods (partly to defrost them) I’d place them in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Then, bring to near boiling point, drain and refresh under cold running water. Why? It helps to remove a lot of the salt and leaves a much cleaner taste. With the prawns in the photo I did do that. However, I didn’t need to as their quality was really good. Shan’t name the supermarket I bought them from here, though.
Apparently using rapeseed oil is better for frying at a higher temperature, which is why I’m suggesting using it for the mushrooms. According to another site: “Unlike other oils, rapeseed oil can be heated to high temperatures without turning into unhealthy trans-fatty acids”. Just don’t quote me on that!
Oh, nearly forgot. This is vegetarian suitable if you leave out the prawns. Equally as good!
Prawn Pasta, with pan-fried mushrooms and a creamy sauce
- oil, either rapeseed or olive
- 150g (5.29 oz) x shallots, peeled and sliced crossways into rings
- 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
- rapeseed oil, for the mushrooms – see above
- 250g (8.81 oz) x closed cup mushrooms, wiped, sliced in half then crossways into 6 – 8 pieces
- 2 – 3 x garlic cloves, either chopped or sliced
- 180g or 171g drained weight (6.84 or 6.03 oz drained weight) x frozen cooked and peeled Jumbo King prawns/shrimps, about 18 in total
- 1 x slice of fresh lime
- 1/2 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 200ml (0.42 pt US Liq) x cold water
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- single cream, about 70 – 100ml (0.14 – 0.21 pt US Liq)
- pasta of personal choice – I use spaghetti made from 100% organic durum wheat, about 75g (3 oz) per person (as it states on my pack)
- Grana Padano or Parmesan, freshly grated to serve
- fresh curly parsley, washed and snipped just before serving
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- After preparing the shallots place them in a heavy-based pan with enough oil to coat its base, on electric heat No 2 (out of 6). Allow to settle for around 15 minutes, stirring through the occasional time. After 15 minutes add the garlic and lower the heat to No 1. After a further 10 minutes sprinkle over the cayenne pepper. Take off heat.
- Preheat a large heavy-based saucepan for the mushrooms, with enough oil to coat its base, on heat No 4. Do not allow the oil to smoke! Any sign that that might happen take off heat and allow to cool. When mushrooms are prepared add them to the saucepan, and allow to settle for a bit. Do stir through the occasional time to prevent scorching. If a brown liquor oozes from them don’t worry about it as they’ll absorb the liquid as they begin to brown. At that stage do not leave the pan. Either stir often or shake the pan to prevent burning. When nicely golden take off heat.
- Using a small saucepan pour in the water, add the stock cube and bay leaf and put on heat No 2. Allow the cube to dissolve. When both the shallots and mushrooms are ready pour the stock into the large saucepan and add the shallot mixture. Add the cream at this stage too. Put on heat No 3 to help reduce the stock a little.
- Put a large saucepan on for the pasta with enough cold water, and when boiling cook the pasta to the pack’s instructions.
- Prep the prawns, and if using frozen then add them to the pan the stock has been in with a little oil. I wouldn’t pan-fry them for very long, though, as they can become tough. About 5 minutes to allow them to take on a little colour. I like to add a pinch of cayenne at this stage, and drizzle over a little lime juice. Take off heat.
- When the mushroom mixture has reduced sufficiently – the sauce only needs to coat the pasta – then either plate the pasta separately or add to the mushrooms. I plate separately, placing the prawns on top.
- Add lots of freshly snipped parsley and Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese to serve.
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