Recipe: Spaghetinni with Australian Scampi and Tiger Prawns

There’s nothing more satisfying than a hearty pasta dish when it starts to get cold out. Pasta is always my go-to comfort food, it’s filling, tasty, and extremely versatile to cook with. While in Sydney, I visited the Sydney Fish Markets to check out the local seafood. As soon as I saw the Australian scampi (different from American scampi) and the tiger prawns I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

This dish consists of an intensely flavoured tomato sauce and the scampi and prawns. It is quite simple and quick to make, but does take at least an hour of dedication for the sauce, but trust me it will be more than worth it.

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Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2 medium onions (1 finely chopped)
  • 2 small limes
  • 1/4 kilo prawns
  • 1/4 kilo scampi
  • 4 cloves of garlic (two for stock, two for sauce)
  • fresh cilantro (or coriander in Australia)
  • 3 ripe vine tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cayenne pepper flakes
  • Vodka or a dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • 150 grams of spaghetinni

For the stock:

  1. Peel and quarter one onion and halve the limes
  2. Peel the prawns and scampi, reserve the shells
  3. Add the onion, lime, shells, and 2 bay leaves into a small sauce pan, fill with water and generously salt
  4. Quickly bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes, keep the heat on low/medium-low while preparing the sauce

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Sauce:

  1. Lightly fry a pinch of the cayenne pepper flakes in a tablespoon of olive oil
  2. Sauté the prawns and scampi in two separate batches. Cook over medium-high heat on one side until you can see it is halfway cooked, flip until the other side is lightly browned * DO NOT OVERCOOK *
  3. In the same pan add a few more cayenne flakes for heat and the garlic to a tablespoon of olive oil; sauté until pale golden colour
  4. Add the onion and another tablespoon of olive oil
  5. Sautee over medium heat until translucent
  6. Add the halved tomatoes and raise the heat to medium high; once hot add a generous splash of either vodka or wine (both optional)
  7. Lower the heat back to medium and cover until the tomatoes are tender (about 15 minutes)
  8. As soon as the tomatoes are tender, mash them up and mix in, uncover and keep uncovered
  9. Ladle the stock in as needed, you don’t want the sauce to watery or too dry, just keep on adding stock while it bubbles over medium heat.
  10. Keep in mind that the stock has salt and will add salt to the sauce!
  11. Once you run out of stock, or patience then you are done! Add the al dente spaghetinni and mix in the reserved shellfish. Top with some chopped cilantro/coriander and a crack of pepper and you are ready to enjoy : P

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The longer you cook the sauce, the better it will taste; your patience will be rewarded with an amazing tasting sauce. Try it out and let me know what you think

-Andres

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