Typical spring weather here in Munich. One day it’s hot, sunny and glorious, the next you wake up to a dusting of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Not that the weather should matter all that much as we are now to mostly stay inside until the 19th of April at the earliest. All the more time for cooking I say! Luckily enough we are still allowed out to do a bit of exercise, so I have been making the most of the spring sunshine by visiting some of my local parks and getting my nature fix.
As usual, I’m mostly tucked away in the kitchen, working my way through the pantry and cooking up lots of meals. Lots of cooking, of course, means lots of dishes to wash for yours truly. Today’s recipe is a terrific one to have tucked up your sleeve for when you want a big, flavoursome meal, but not much in the way of cleaning up, as everything is cooked in one pan. It’s one of the most popular recipes from my second cookbook ’Simply Summer’: Prawn and Lemon Linguine.
Prawns, though a bit of a luxury round these parts, are a great freezer standby and can make a simple meal quite decadent. They make such a fabulously rich and quick pasta and combined with lemon, garlic and chilli they are truly sensational. This very simple dish is ready in the time it takes for the pasta to cook and is full of mouthwatering flavours. If you can’t get your hands on fresh prawns, this is a perfect recipe for frozen. You can either defrost them in the fridge the night before or quickly under warm running water.
Take care of yourselves and each other out there. I am also loving all the amazing cooking photos and videos that people are posting online, it’s wonderful to see people taking the opportunity of being stuck at home to be creative and generally slow down a little. What have you been cooking? How are you using up all this free time?
As always if you have any questions, comments, or queries, feel free to leave a comment below or to drop me a line on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking!
Prawn and Lemon Linguine
- 225 g linguine, or fettuccine / spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 50 g bacon or prosciutto, diced
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- pinch of chilli flakes, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced or crushed
- 100 ml white wine
- 250 g large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
- 25 ml lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 30 g or 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
- small bunch of parsley, leaves roughly chopped
- sea salt and black pepper
- Begin by heating your plates or a serving platter in the oven. Cook the linguine in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a small cup of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the bacon or prosciutto for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, chilli flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until the garlic is golden and aromatic and the tomatoes have started to soften.
- Turn the heat up a little and add the prawns to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Pour in the white wine and let it bubble up a bit, then add the lemon juice, zest, Parmesan and about a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Season with salt and pepper, then toss together well with the cooked pasta.
- Divide between the heated plates and serve with plenty of chopped parsley and an extra squeeze of fresh lemon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make this with frozen prawns?
Yes! Often “fresh” prawns have simply been defrosted by the fishmonger. Either thaw them overnight in the fridge or thaw them in a plastic bag under warm running water.
Bacon or prosciutto is a pain in the neck to dice. Any tips?
My secret is that I rarely cut bacon with a knife. I use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to snip it into whatever shape I need. Trust me, it’s much easier!
How can I tell if the prawns are cooked?
The prawns will change colour, from translucent to opaque. They will also curve to form a ‘U’ shape. Take care not to overcook them, they only need about 3 minutes in a hot pan.
I don’t eat prawns! Can I still make this dish?
Not exactly this dish, but you can make a similar one! Start by slicing 4 decent sized chicken thighs into 3 pieces each. Fry them in the oil until browned, about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. Follow the recipe as described, adding the chicken back to the pan in the last step and heating until cooked through. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan.