Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prawns and Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce

This meal was by request! I'm actually getting good enough at cooking that people are requesting dishes I've made them previously. Wow, I better not disappoint!

I put 10 prawns each in cold water to defrost. I buy the 41-50/lb bag of raw tail-off prawns. Usually I have to buy tail-on and take the tails off before cooking them.  To remove a prawn tail place the opposite edge of a knife just ahead of the tail and pull the meat away from the tail. I really don't like inedible shells in my food unless it's finger food.

The meal is really simple. Start by putting water on to boil for the pasta. I diced an onion and started sweating it until it started to turn golden. Then I added three smashed and chopped garlic cloves and sweated the garlic odour off them. I removed all from the pan, added more oil, a little butter and the prawns.  I cook the prawns about 3/4 done then take them out of the pan as well. They will finish cooking when they go in the sauce.

Take the pan off the heat, add 1/2 teaspoon of flour and enough oil to make a thick slurry. (I used 1 tsp of flour, which was too much)  Put back on the heat and bubble the flour taste off.  Take the pan off the heat again and start whisking in chicken stock till it thins a bit.  Add a can of tomato paste and as much chicken stock as needed to make a nice thick sauce.  Add the prawns, onion and garlic back in and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add 1-2 tablespoons of finely diced fresh basil and mix thoroughly. Serve on the pasta and top with fresh grated parmesan.

My guests were delighted with their meal. I even managed to sneak the remaining cheap flavourless prawns in with the good ones.  I'll never buy the cheaper frozen prawns again, it's the flavour they leave out to save money. Fortunately the good ones are good enough to impart flavour to the cheap ones so no one noticed. I can't say I actually noticed anything either but I'll KNOW it could be better so I'll always use the better ones.

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