Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket

Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket
Home Cooking

I've been having the odd pasta craving or two that comes and goes. It's not enough to make me set out to an Italian restaurant but it's annoying when I don't get what I want (as I'm sure it is for everyone).

The solution was to find a really simple pasta dish that I could whip up at home. I was leafing through 'Jamie's Italy' by Jamie Oliver and spotted this recipe for spaghetti with prawns and rocket (or, as it's called in Italian, 'spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola') which had really basic, fresh ingredients but boy, the photo sure looked appetizing.

I used fresh prawns for these, peeled with the tails left on, but you're welcome to use frozen prawns, as well as they're thawed first.

Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola
(Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket
Serves 3-4

  • 455g dried spaghetti
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, crumbled (I used dried red chili flakes)
  • 400g peeled raw prawns
  • 1 small wineglass of white wine
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of sun-dried tomato puree, or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water, according to the directions on the packet.
2. Heat 3 glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan and toss in the garlic and chili. As the garlic begins to color, add the prawns and saute them for a minute.
3. Add the tomato puree and white wine and turn down the heat to simmer for a couple of minutes.4. When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce.
5. Squeeze in the lemon (might think about doing 1/2 at a time so you can control how sour/tangy the sauce is) and add half of the chopped rocket. Correct the seasoning.6. Divide the pasta between the plates and serve with the rest of the rocket leaves and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

This dish was so easy to do. I made up a big batch for dinner with my parents and there was praises all round (for the food, that is, not for me). I was trying to derail their misconception that pasta is always creamy and heavy. This pasta dish is light, fresh and flavorsome. It's the perfect example of a dish that lets the ingredients shine.

The tomato and lemon give a nice tanginess to the dish that is wonderfully offset by the peppery rocket.


Get good quality prawns and good quality sun-dried tomatoes. Use fresh lemon rather than bottled lemon juice. They make the world of difference.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really tasty. I love rocket in pasta dishes!