Few ingredients go as well together as pasta and fish; spaghetti vongole, crab linguini and lobster mac & cheese are a few that instantly spring to mind. This dish is made with prawns and is a slight adaptation of my father's recipe which was probably one of the first pasta dishes I ever made. It's light and full of fresh, zesty flavours combined with earthy mushrooms and salty pancetta.
- King Prawns 2 packets
- Pancetta 80g
- Fettuccini 160g
- Parmesan Cheese 60g
- Basil 6 leaves
- Lemon 1
- Garlic 2 cloves
- Shiitake Mushrooms 120g
- Tomatoes 2 large
- Sea Salt 4 teaspoons
- Pepper 1 teaspoon
- Butter 10g
The first stage in preparing this dish is to fry the pancetta until crisp. I used butter to impart an initial richness to the dish but if you are counting the calories olive also works well. Turn the heat up high and fry the pancetta for 5 minutes until crisp.
Next is one of my favourite ingredients in Shiitake Mushrooms which add a wonderful earthy flavour to the pasta. Chop into medium sized pieces and add to the pan. The mushrooms should fry in the fat from the pancetta turning them slightly crisp.
After the mushrooms and pancetta have fried for a further 3 minutes add two roughly chopped tomatoes and the crushed garlic. You want the tomatoes to break down to the point where they are barely visible in the finished dish. To achieve this continue frying on medium heat for 6 minutes until soft.
With the base of the pasta sauce complete it is time to add the Prawns. I use raw prawns as the pre-cooked versions are extremely easy to overcook.
As the prawns cook, place the pasta into a pot of heavily salted boiling water. This particular fettuccine only took 2 minutes to cook al dente. As this is a dry pasta dish ensure you drain well and add straight to the pan.
For the final step of the dish, it is important to combine everything as swiftly as possible otherwise the prawns and pasta are liable to over cook. As the pasta is cooked in salted water you shouldn't need to add any further salt but a couple of twists of freshly cracked black pepper works well along with parmesan shavings and finely chopped basil. Stir everything together for 30 seconds to allow the parmesan to melt and the flavours to combine.
Serve in a warm bowl with some additional parmesan and a slight drizzle of quality olive oil.