Jo’s Prawn Pasta with Pangrattato

Surprisingly I’m still enjoying cooking! We seem to be in two camps at present – those who are cooking up a storm, just because there’s now time to devote to it after years of having to put something on the table every day, and those who are enjoying the plethora of choice –  take away/precooked/home-delivered ingredients plus recipe.

We’re richly endowed with take away options in our little village up here on the Central Coast. Two coffee shops, one Thai restaurant, the pub at the bottom of the hill, and the boutique hotel in the bush are all offering a weekly change of meals for pickup or delivery.

I expect in Sydney you are even more privileged. My daughter and her husband both enjoy cooking so over Easter tried Mr Wong at Home – ingredients for six signature dishes for 2 delivered for $95. A fun filled afternoon of feasting for the whole family.

We went a bit Italian at our house last night.

Prawn Pasta with Pangrattato* for two

Ingredients
150g pasta per person
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped finely
2 large crushed cloves of garlic
half teaspoon of crushed chilli
juice of 1 lime (grate off the rind before you squeeze the juice as it will be used in the pangratatto – see recipe below)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
15 baby tomatoes halved
2 handfuls baby spinach
15-18 shelled prawns (raw prawns from the freezer in the supermarket are fine for this pasta dish)
handful of chopped parsley
10-15 torn basil leaves (optional if you don’t have them outside the kitchen door)

Method
Throw the pasta into boiling water to cook till al dente
Heat the olive oil then add chopped onion & garlic. Cook gently till the onion is well cooked. You don’t want crunchy onion in this recipe.
Add the crushed chilli, lime juice, fish sauce, baby tomatoes, and spinach.
When the spinach has wilted add the prawns, chopped parsley & basil leaves.
Cook till prawns just cooked. Season to taste. Dishes with garlic need more salt than expected.
Pasta should be done by now. Strain, add the pasta to the sauce and stir through.
Serve with a couple of tablespoons of pangratatto sprinkled over

Pangratatto*
Cut the crusts off 2 pieces of white sourdough bread and crush into crumbs. I used the little kitchen whiz for this.

Fry in a small fry pan with:
2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the crumbs with 
1 crushed clove garlic 
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and
grated rind of a lime or lemon

Saute till well browned, Serve on top of the pasta & prawns

*I had to call my friend Helen (a better cook than I am) to find out the correct name. I knew gremolata wasn’t quite right because that doesn’t have bread in it.


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