Garlic Prawn Pasta
I was drawn to making this dish from Donna Hay’s cookbook, “fast, fresh, simple.” because I regularly whip up pasta dishes just like this, minus the written recipe. I grew up eating pasta with tomato sauce twice a week, so I was always intrigued by non-tomato sauce pastas and I relished those evenings where a non-tomato sauce pasta (pasta Carbonara, pasta with clam sauce, pasta with broccoli, pastitso) made its way onto our dinner table. On rare occasions when eating out, I would often order pasta dishes featuring things like Alfredo sauce and pasta tossed in garlic and olive oil topped with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, etc. I started making a point to remember the ingredients in each dish and then made it my mission to recreate the pasta at home. Ever since those days of trial and error, I’ve been making favorites from my test kitchen adventures.
Back to the cookbook where this recipe resides… My lovely cousin, Rosina, gave me this gorgeous cookbook when I visited her and my family in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve always admired Donna Hay from afar — she’s not very well-known in the U.S., but in Australia, she’s a huge hit in the fashion of our Food Network stars. Click here to watch a video of Donna Hay making this dish. You’ll see in the video how quickly she whips this up. These pastas make great weeknight meals. You can often make dishes like this with whatever you have on hand in your refrigerator and pantry, plus or minus a protein of choice. Here’s a great example of such a dish:
- 7 ounces (200 grams) spaghetti
- ~3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 12 raw prawns, peeled, cleaned and halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly torn
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil and cook until the butter has melted. Add the garlic, chilli and zest and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the prawns and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until tender.
- Add the pasta, juice, parsley, salt and pepper to the pan and toss to combine.
This meal is proportioned for two servings and takes minutes of prep and just minutes to cook.
Like me, you may wonder why the butter and olive oil combination? Donna Hay told me it’s to keep the butter from melting then getting too hot and burning. Interesting. I’ve read some things from reputable sources that tell me not to combine butter and olive oil, but there are a few times I’ve done it. Whatever your preference, I gave it a whirl and can attest it worked well here, so I’d go with it again.
Thank you again to Rosina for the beautiful cookbook. I have had so much fun with it and look forward to sharing more recipes from it!