Seeing as it isn’t currently possible to go to my favourite Italian restaurant, I thought I’d bring the restaurant to me by making one of my favourite dishes, Prawn Oil Linguini. I served it of course, with a glass of crisp white wine, and I finished the meal a big slice of the most delicious Tiramisu Tart. It was one seriously tasty meal and if I closed my eyes, I could have almost convinced myself I was somewhere along the Amalfi coast – a girl can dream, right?
Whilst trips to the Amalfi coast are still some time away, it is possible to create restaurant worthy dishes from home. I’ve been looking into what makes prawn pasta from the best Italian restaurants so special and so full of flavour and it seems, I have been missing a vital step my whole life. I haven’t been extracting as much flavour as possible from prawn shells. By frying the shells and infusing olive oil with them, you are essential creating liquid gold, capable of injecting flavour into any seafood pasta, soup or stir fry. It’s a game changer!
In this recipe, I used the prawn oil to fry some garlic, fresh chilli and the prawn meat. I added a splash of wine and some diced tomato, then tossed through the pasta. Want to know another pasta making secret? Always toss the pasta through the sauce or oil with a dash of the pasta’s cooking water. The starch in the water will help thicken all the juices in the pan to create a beautiful silky sauce.
Prawn Oil Linguini
- 14 uncooked prawns you can add more or less, it’s up to you
- 100 ml of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1 chilli finely chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 100 ml of white wine
- Linguini enough for 2 people
- Remove the prawn heads and shells, leaving the tail intact. Remove the poo shoots from the prawns and discard them. Place the prawn meat in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Heat the olive oil in a frypan. Add the shells and prawn heads and fry on medium/high heat until they turn bright red and become fragrant. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and allow the shells to infuse the oil for 20 minutes.
- Use a sieve to strain the oil. Discard the shells and pour the oil back into the fry pan.
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the prawns and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Add the tomato and the wine. Simmer for a few minutes (but not too long as you don’t want the prawns to be overcooked).
- Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions. Reserve ¼ of a cup of the cooking water. Strain the pasta and toss it through the prawns along with the reserved water. Continue to stir through the pasta until the sauce is silky and slightly thickened. Serve and eat straight away.