I know! I've been MIA these past few weeks and you must be wondering why. I even accidentally sent last month's newsletter by mistake! What's on my mind? Planning a wedding.
If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram account, you've probably already guessed my big news. Even though I'm obviously hinting at what it is via the title of this post, I don't want to say too much yet. Let's just say I'm in over my head!
Now that's out of the way, let's get cooking!
This recipe is so easy, you can whip it up in 30 minutes. Even less if you've got a great helper (ahem... Mon Fiancé)! It's deliciously complex and secretly simple.
Every time I go to the farmer's market, there's always a deal on King Prawns. I know that they have a particular season when they're more abundant, but I can't help wanting to take these little critters home with me every time I see them. They're very different than the normal shrimp I usually have back home... with a nice juiciness I've never experienced before. Mon Fiancé can eat this entire thing of pasta. I won't lie... I can eat the entire dish by myself too.
This recipe is actually inspired by Mon Fiancé's mother. I think the recipe came into my head the first time I visited his parents' home. Cassis is actually next to the Mediterranean sea. Fish are smaller there and I don't believe there are any local shrimp or prawns (right?). However, for my first dinner there, I think Mon Fiancé's mom cooked a very simple dish of either prawns or crevettes (shrimp) with a little bit of parsley or some sort of herb. It was very delicious.
Another funny add-on to this story: I was soooo nervous about meeting Mon Fiancé's entire family for the first time, that I had no idea how to correctly eat this easy dish that was prepared for us. In America, we have no shame of eating things with our hands... including shrimp. The European way is much more formal. Watching his parents closely, I marveled at how they were able to take the skins off the shrimps with a knife and fork. Unfortunately, my cutlery skills were not (and still aren't) up to par and I ended up eating many pieces of shrimp shell. Luckily, I didn't choke!
This prawn recipe also reminds me of my mother, a Filipino-born American who always fed me her native food despite my cries for McDonalds (a good thing, too). I remember times when we peeled shrimp together for pansit, a Filipino noodle dish. You should probably eat that after you try my recipe (not McDonalds!).
It's kind of mesmerizing to take all that time in gently peeling the skins off the shrimp.... tranquil, even. Especially if you've got Netflix playing in the background ;)
I normally don't use gloves to peel my shrimp/prawn, but after getting many cases of the hard to get rid of stinky seafood hands, I try to use gloves whenever I can. Try to get non-latex, kitchen grade gloves if you'd like to try it out this way.
In this recipe, I like to cook the prawns first with half the garlic. I also keep the heads on during cooking because they contain the most juice. You can take the heads off later when you serve them. You'll know when they're ready when the heads are no longer blue/translucent. Afterward, in the same pan, I'll cook the zucchini right after so that they can get doused in that nice, orangey prawn sauce while cooking.
And cook your pasta precisely by the directions on the box. If it says 9 minutes, take your pasta out of the water after 9 minutes! This also depends if you like your pasta al dente or not... I like mine in the middle... not too squishy, but not too firm. One minute less for al dente, two minutes more for squishy noodles. Or so that's what I've experienced.
Hopefully, your dish will turn out delicious like this! Bon appétit!
King Prawn and Zucchini Pasta
Serves 2-4 people
- 500g/17oz of King Prawns (skinned & tails removed, but preferably with heads still on)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 medium-sized zucchinis, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 box linguini (or whatever pasta you prefer)
- 2-3 teaspoons of Herbes de Provence
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons of water
- Optional: freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Heat up a large pot of water according to the directions on your pasta box.
2. After peeling off all the skins and removing the tails of the prawns, set a large skillet on medium heat. When the skillet is finally hot, drizzle in one tablespoon of olive oil. Drop in the prawns and quickly stir them around. Once they start getting pink, add the garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Keep stirring constantly.
3. Once the heads of the prawns start to turn pink, add half of the parsley and stir again. Immediately take the skillet off the stove and place the prawns in a separate bowl, keeping them covered. Scrap off any bits of parsley or garlic
4. When the water starts boiling, put your pasta in along with a hearty pinch of salt. Mix together, making sure your pasta is fully submerged in the hot water. Cook according to the directions.
5. Return the same skillet that you cooked the shrimp in on the stove on medium heat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil starts to get warm, put your zucchini in. Mix well for 2-3 minutes and then add the rest of your garlic as well as some salt, pepper, and herbs. After a couple minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and then cover your skillet. Let the zucchinis steam for 4 minutes before removing the cover. Stir again and add more water if necessary. Cover again and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until zucchinis have become partially transparent.
6. When it's time, drain your pasta and place back in the pot. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil and mix. After mixing, place pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the zucchini and then finally arrange the prawns on top.
7. Serve with parmesan or your favorite pasta condiment. Enjoy!
À bientôt! Until next time!