This Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta is for all those nights when nothing but a creamy pasta will do! Pasta smothered in a creamy sauce infused with garlic flavour, and tossed through with plump prawns (shrimp). It’s indulgent but not ridiculously rich. Every pasta lovers’ dream come true!
The weekend is here and we deserve a treat!!! Rather than heading out for dinner, I think you should make THIS luscious Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta at home. Yes it’s indulgent, but let me assure you, it’s a whole lot healthier than eating out. Because let’s face it – restaurant food is so good because it’s loaded with butter, oil and salt. I once went in search for a famous Mashed Potato recipe by Guillaume Brahimi, a renowned French Chef here in Australia, after having it at his restaurant. It’s made with 200g / 1 3/4 sticks butter for 600g / 1.2 lb of potato. THAT’S INSANE!!!!! I felt my arteries clogging up just reading the recipe!!!
So. This is rich but not crazy rich, you’ll certainly satisfy your creamy pasta craving but you won’t feel ill afterwards. (Unless you have more than your fair share, which I cannot be held responsible for)
This recipe serves 4 and is made with 1 cup of cream, which is 1/4 cups per serving. Which I think is actually a very reasonable amount for a cream pasta.
The sauce is thickened using a combination of freshly grated parmesan cheese and by emulsifying the sauce. If you’ve tried any of my other pasta recipes, you’d know that I (along with the entire nation of Italy) religiously do this mandatory step of tossing the pasta in the sauce on the stove with a splash of pasta cooking water, letting the starch and fat in the sauce work its magic to thicken the sauce and makes it sticky so it clings to the pasta rather than sitting in a pool in the bottom of the skillet.
There’s no exception with creamy pastas. In fact, it’s most effective with creamy pastas because that’s how to thicken the sauce without using more and more cream.
Creamy pastas are so hard to shoot so you can see the creamy sauce coating the pasta. But do you see how there is no / little sauce pooled on the plate? That’s because it’s all on the pasta and prawns!
I like making Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta with small to medium prawns. (That’s shrimp, to those of you on the other side of the pond. ) I find it easier to eat rather than jumbo sized prawns. And because of this, I usually use (gasp, shock horror!) frozen peeled raw prawns. I actually peeled fresh prawns when I made this the other day, pictured in the black skillet at the top of the post, and left the tail on. Which, for some reason, felt like I was making a point that the prawns are fresh ones I peeled myself, but in hindsight was completely impractical because it was such a pain to stop eating and pull the tail out of my mouth.
Yes, peeling your own fresh prawns is better than using frozen. But because they are small, it is a pain so using frozen is completely acceptable – in my books.
If you’ve had a long week, I’m betting you are busting to get on that couch and flick on the TV to watch something that doesn’t require too much brain power. To complete that picture, all you need is a cozy bowl of homemade deliciousness and a glass of your favourite wine.
And in this vision I have, the cosy bowl of deliciousness is in the form of this Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta. Get the water boiling, and you’ll be slurping this down in 20 minutes. (Wait a sec – that’s faster than take out!)
Happy weekend! – Nagi xx
Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta
Pasta tossed with a garlic infused creamy sauce and plump, juicy prawns! (Shrimp) A quick meal you’ll get on the table in 20 minutes, this is luscious but it’s not too rich. The key is to emulsify the sauce (i.e. thicken it) by tossing the pasta in the sauce just before serving – this is the proper Italian way to make pasta. Serves 3 very hungry people or 4 normal servings. Recipe VIDEO below.
- 8 oz / 250g fettuccine (, or other long strand pasta of choice)
- 30 g / 2 tbsp butter (, separated)
- 300 g / 10 oz small peeled prawns / shrimp, raw ((Note 1))
- 3 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml dry white wine ((Note 2 for sub))
- 1 cup / 250 ml heavy / thickened cream ((Note 3))
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml chicken broth ((or fish or vegetable broth), preferably low sodium)
- 3/4 cup / 50 g finely grated parmesan cheese (1.5 oz) ((freshly grated) (Note 4))
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Black pepper
- Parmesan (, for serving)
- Bring to boil a large pot of water. Add pasta and cook per packet MINUS 1 minute. (Note 5).
- Just before draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add prawns and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove prawns.
- In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp butter. Once melted, add garlic. Stir for 20 seconds until fragrant.
- Add wine and stir. Simmer for 2 minutes until wine mostly reduces (see video).
- Add cream, broth and parmesan. Stir until the parmesan is melted, then leave to simmer for 1 1/2 minutes until it thickens slightly (will thicken more in next step).
- Add prawns, stir, then add pasta plus about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water. Toss pasta (still on stove) and the sauce will thicken in about 30 – 45 seconds and start clinging to the pasta.
- Take it off the stove before the sauce is as thick as you want – it will thicken more.
- Sprinkle with most of the parsley and black pepper, check salt (I don’t need more). Toss again until the sauce consistency is to your taste. Add a tiny splash of pasta water if it gets too gluggy.
- Serve immediately, garnished with remaining parsley and parmesan if desired.
1. PRAWN / SHRIMP SIZE: I prefer using small ones for pasta because it disperses better in pasta. If you use medium or large prawns, I suggest using 400g / 14 oz. For giant ones, you may wish to cut in half lengthwise, or even into pieces.
FROZEN PRAWNS: I usually make this with frozen peeled prawns because it’s a pain to peel small prawns. Thaw thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel before cooking (otherwise they just sort of braise in residual water that leeches).
TIP: Reserve the thawing liquid and use that as part of the broth required in this recipe. It’s like a free seafood broth!
2. WINE: Any dry white is fine, I use sauv blanc. Sweet, really fruity ones like many rieslings aren’t really suitable. Can sub with chicken or veg broth.
3. This recipe will work fine with any full fat cream, but the sauce thickens faster / better with heavy / thickened cream. If you use light cream, the sauce will be thinner but it will still work.
4. PARMESAN: Must use freshly grated! Store bought won’t melt smoothly. If you measure by cup rather than weight, be sure to tap the cup as you grate because the volume is greater i.e. it’s fluffy, so if you don’t tap, 40g parmesan is probably well in excess of 1 cup!
5. Reduce the cooking time because we finish cooking the pasta in the sauce (key step for this recipe).
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
He’s just the wrong colour.