A classic prawn pasta recipe gets a dramatic makeover with squid ink spaghetti and the introduction of the mild anise flavour of fennel.
This dish tastes every bit as good as it looks and the earthy ozone hints of the black pasta shine through the simple classic flavours.
Squid Ink Spaghetti with Shrimp.
Spaghetti with shrimp or prawns is a really classic combination and whilst this recipe may look different it does not stray far from classic combinations.
Other than that we have chilli, lemon and garlic, really simple and traditional flavours, in fact, flavours also used in my prawn and pea pasta recipe.
The elephant in the room is that dramatic black pasta! The name gives away its source, it is pasta made with squid ink, genius hey?
It has a very mild flavour in terms of “fishiness” but it has the most luxurious and silky mouthfeel.
Of course, it also looks stunning!
What Prawns or Shrimp to Use.
I live in landlocked Hungary and as a result shrimp or prawns depending on what side of the Atlantic you live are not the easiest to source.
I always use frozen prawns and try where possible to get raw shelled and frozen. They are essential for a dish like my harissa prawns which you simply must check out.
But this garlic and chilli prawn pasta recipe works equally well with par boiled frozen prawns.
They just need cooking for less time, when I say cooking, they don’t really need cooking, just warming through. They are a great product and they feature in my 15-minute Indian prawn curry.
On the size, try and go for prawns either in the 16-20 or 21-30 count. This measure is the count of how many prawns you get per per pound.
A Guide to Seasoning.
This prawn pasta recipe lives and dies on its seasoning, like so many recipes really.
Salt has become a bit of a dirty word in some circles but this recipe needs a fair old whack.
Begin with your pasta, I always cook my pasta in 4 litres (4 quarts) of water give or take. Then I add a tablespoon of salt and a touch more for luck!
Then you need to season the prawns. I add a generous pinch, so thumb and 2 fore fingers into a bowl of coarse sea salt. It tends to measure out to around half a teaspoon.
Bring a bit of bling to your prawn pasta by adding some squid ink spaghetti, then add the classic flavours of chilli, garlic and lemon juice.
- 1 Small Fennel Bulb
- 250g (9 oz) Prawns
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 150g (2½ Cooked Cups) Squid Ink Spaghetti
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Tsp Chili Flakes
- 1 Lemon
- Salt to Taste
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Slice the fennel bulb as finely as you can, a mandolin is the best tool for this.
- Slice the garlic as finely as you can.
- Zest the lemon.
- Add the chilli flakes, half the lemon zest, the garlic and half of the olive oil to the prawns and season well with salt.
- Add the pasta to the now boiling water and cook for 60 seconds less than the packet instructions.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a high heat.
- Add the sliced fennel for 3-4 minutes tossing occasionally.
- Add in the prawns and then sautee for 5-6 minutes for raw uncooked and 2-4 minutes for par boiled and defrosted prawns.
- Drain the pasta reserving 2-4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
- Toss the pasta through the prawns and add the remaining lemon zest and the juice of half of the lemon.
- Add the cooking liquid to form a nice emulsion and serve sprinkled with fennel fronds if you have some.
Of course, you can make this recipe with regular spaghetti, simply cook it al dente exactly as this recipe outlines.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 1503mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 39g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.