Serves 3 very hungry people or 4 normal servings.
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
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 leaches).
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. CREAM: 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).