This Creamy Prawn Linguine will become a regular addition to your pasta repertoire. You can prepare this meal quickly and easily, making it suitable for busy weeknights but sufficiently elegant to serve when entertaining. The delicately flavoured prawns are bathed in a creamy garlic sauce which is highlighted by the tang of lemon juice and zest. It is so delicious!
400g(14 oz) raw frozen prawns - peeled and de-veinedSee Notes 2 and 3
1teaspoonextra virgin olive oil
2tablespoonbutterSee Note 4
2clovesgarlic - finely chopped
2teaspoonlemon zestSee Note 5
4tablespoonlemon juiceSee Note 4
310ml(1 ¼ cups) heavy/thickened creamSee Note 6
4tablespoonflat-leaf parsley - finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
1cuppasta water - reserve before draining pasta - you may not need to use it all
Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Before draining into a colander, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, pat the prawns dry.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and butter.Once the butter has melted, add the prawns and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they are almost cooked through.
Remove the prawns from the pan and set them aside. It is important to take the prawns out of the frying pan before they are properly cooked as they will be going back into the pan later. Overcooking the prawns will result in them being tough and rubbery.
Add the garlic to the same pan, and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to burn.
Add the lemon zest and juice and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all of the flavour.
Add in the cream. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Return the prawns and add the pasta.
Add a little pasta water and stir well to combine for 1-2 minutes. You may not need all of the pasta water you reserved - add a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
If the sauce is too thick, add a little extra pasta water. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately as the sauce will thicken more as it stands.To prevent the pasta from cooling quickly, serve the pasta in warmed bowls.
I prefer long pasta, such as spaghetti, tagliatelle or fettuccine, but you can use another type if you prefer.
I buy frozen, peeled prawns and use small-medium. If using large prawns, you may wish to cut them into smaller pieces.
I defrost prawns in an iced-water brine. Use a bowl large enough to accommodate all your prawns. Cover the prawns with cold water. Add some ice, about ½ cup, and coarse kitchen salt, about 1 ½ tablespoons per 1 litre (4 cups) of water. Stir them together and repeat occasionally until the prawns defrost. Remove them immediately, pat dry with paper towel and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you are ready to use them. They are best prepared on the day you intend to use them. Alternatively, you can defrost them in the refrigerator. Sit them in a colander over a bowl. Do not let them sit in their own juices. When defrosted, pat them dry with paper towel and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It is best to do this on the day that you intend to use them. Do not defrost prawns at room temperature or in the microwave.
In Australia, the tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, it is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust the measurement if necessary.
Remove the zest before juicing the lemon.
Also known as heavy cream or whipping cream, it has a minimum milk fat content of 35%.
Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. The starch in the liquid emulsifies with the creamy sauce, making it silky and luxurious and helping it cling to the pasta.