Prawn pasta with pretend fancy sauce

Prawn pasta, heavy on the herbs, with 'pretend fancy sauce' and optional zucchini flowers.
Prawn pasta, heavy on the herbs, with 'pretend fancy sauce' and optional zucchini flowers. Photo: Katrina Meynink

This is far from the heavy cream-laden pastas, the sauce provides a mere coating for the pasta allowing the prawns and vibrant herbs and veg do their thing. It is such an easy yet tasty meal. I like to pop the sauce on while I am preparing the other ingredients to make this a very quick and achievable midweek meal. Don't panic if you can't get zucchini flowers. The flowers add vibrance and a little texture. The key is to have young, sweet zucchini or as small as you can find.

Ingredients

Pretend fancy sauce

1 cup fish stock

1 cup white wine

1 cup thickened cream

25g butter

25g grated parmesan

salt and pepper

Pasta

375g fresh fettuccine

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, very finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500g raw prawn meat (from about 15 decent-sized prawns, peeled, deveined), roughly chopped

5-6 small zucchini flowers, stamen removed, flowers reserved, stems halved lengthways (optional; substitute one small zucchini, cut into rounds)

¼ cup firmly packed tarragon leaves, larger leaves coarsely chopped

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley

zest of 1 lemon

½ cup shaved parmesan or to taste

Method

1. Add all the ingredients for the pretend fancy sauce to a saucepan and place over low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes while you prepare everything else. It's important to keep the heat low so that the cream doesn't split while cooking. If it does happen to split, don't panic, just strain through a strainer and any curdled bits will be captured.

2. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, between 3-5 minutes.

3. While the pasta is cooking, place a frypan over high heat. Add the butter and olive oil and once foaming, add the shallot, garlic and chopped prawn meat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 30 seconds then add the zucchini stems, if using, and cook for another 30-45 seconds or until the prawn meat has cooked through.

4. Strain the pasta and add to the frying pan and use tongs to turn and mix through. Gently pour over the pretend fancy sauce, using tongs, again, to move the pasta around the frying pan so it is coated in the sauce. Add the fresh herbs and lemon zest and toss with tongs before adding to serving bowls. Season and top with additional shaved parmesan and serve.

Find more of Katrina Meynink's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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