We haven't had a pasta dish in a while here on the site actually nor in the house other than my world-famous (cough, splutter) beef cheek ragu. I decided to finally put one together using ingredients that we (I) pretty much always have in the fridge and this brown butter prawn pasta was born. A bowl of this a glass of white wine (more on that later) and your loved one is all you need for a good evening. Now, when I say loved one that comes in many forms. The whole bottle of wine, your fireplace, Netflix or maybe, just maybe your partner 😉
Lately, Mrs. AnotherFoodBlogger has been asking me for some lower cal dishes as I have been doing a bit of baking lately. Notice how the baking wasn't asked to stop. Just work around the baked goods!! Anyway, this brown butter prawn pasta dish is defo not one of these lower cal dishes but hot damn was it good and no complaints were made whatsoever. So much so that a 2nd bowl was had and the choc brownie was left in the fridge 😉
WHAT PASTA CAN I USE IN BROWN BUTTER PRAWN PASTA?
The truth is pretty much ANYTHING will work. I am certainly no EXPERT on pasta and nor will I ever claim to be. But, what I do know is that with this creamy sauce you are looking for pasta that will be nicely coated in the sauce, not get lost with the ingredients and finally is a shape you enjoy. My recommendations are as follows (in no particular order).
Curly fettuccine - those curly edges are great for soaking up the sauce
Orecchiette - also known as pigs ear pasta is great for cupping some of the delicious brown butter sauce and maybe even a sneaky piece of corn too
Any type of shelled pasta - much the same as orecchiette
Spaghetti or Linguine - the longer thinner shapes are great for being nicely coated in cream-based sauces
BUT - the most important thing is you eat what you enjoy! If you like red wine with fish and white with steak then you do you. These are merely suggestions on my part!
WHY GRILL THE CORN?
Because grilled corn is LIFE! No seriously, grilling the corn gives it a lovely char that adds another dimension to the dish. It also helps to bring out a great caramel taste from the corn which compliments the sauce really well.
CAN I USE FROZEN CORN?
Damn right you can! As mentioned in my pasta "suggestions" this is how I like to do it. Fresh corn is defo better in my opinion but I appreciate budget, seasonality, and the fact that peeling and chopping an ear of corn can just be a bit of a pain. If using frozen corn, defrost it first. I have to say it - you never know and if you have a blow torch give it a char otherwise just chuck it in when the recipe calls for it.
WHAT DOES SLOW ROASTING THE TOMATOES DO?
It does EVERYTHING to tomatoes. Trust me, the next time you roast tomatoes keep one aside and do a taste test of raw chopped tomato and one that has been slow-roasted. Mind blown. What slow-roasting them does (aside from the obvious cooking them) is it releases all the natural sugars and juices from the tomatoes. It intensifies the flavour and adds a whole different dimension to this dish.
Not to mention you can literally roast a couple kgs of them and just eat them as a snack or spread them onto bread with some ricotta for lunch the next day!!!
CAN I JUST CHOP THE TOMATOES?
Am I gonna sound like a broken record if I say it? Of course, if you need to keep it simple, then keep it simple. I would recommend chopping them up and frying them lightly with oil and salt to release some of the flavours. Literally just 2-3 minutes. Do it in the pan before cooking the prawns!
WHAT IS BROWN BUTTER?
Delicious. Is that enough to write to describe it? Once you taste it you will agree! BUT, for those of you who don't know or have never tasted it here you go. Brown butter is simply regular butter that you have cooked in a frying pan or saucepan on medium heat until it starts to turn brown and foamy. This process roughly takes about 4-5 minutes and the flavours it brings to the table are cracking!
Brown butter tastes nutty, a little toffee/caramel-like, and has both sweet and savoury notes. For the purpose of this recipe, we mix it with some cream, garlic, and lemon zest. We are left with an amazingly creamy intense sauce that has some bright notes coming through too from the lemon zest. Damn, it's 10am I am supposed to be making risotto for dinner and now I want to eat this AGAIN!!
I DON'T LIKE PRAWNS OR SEAFOOD
Sorry about that! No, in all seriousness many people can have seafood allergies or aversions so it is something that does need to be taken seriously. This dish will work GREAT with chicken too - I would recommend using chicken tenders for the recipe and cutting them up into bite-sized pieces.
The all-important Q - what wine should I drink as I cook this, whilst I eat it and open another bottle of afterwards!! This one was SIMPLE. Chalk Hill Fiano from McLaren Vale. I picked this one up from winedirect.com.au from my buddy Dan - a half-decent dude who might steer you in the right direction when choosing wine;)
Fiano - an Italian grape that hails from Campania and Sicily is a white grape that is slightly nutty, floral, spicy with notes of tropical fruit too. It works magically with seafood, cream sauces and dishes that aren't too citrusy. Sounds like a match made in heaven for my brown butter prawn pasta!
The Chalk Hill fiano offers tons of delicious apricot, zesty citrus which only make the brown butter prawn pasta all the more better. I get whipped cream, hazelnuts and a little chalkiness too from it. There is a nice salinity from it, almost in the form of oysters. The finish has decent length and is drinking PERFECTLY right now. Spring is just around the corner here in Australia so my advice is to grab a 6pck and get ready for some warmer temps!
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!
- 200 g prawns approx 12 (peeled & deveined)
- 120 g pasta curly fettuccine
- 2 ears corn
- 300 g cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 50 g butter
- 6 sprigs chives finely chopped
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 lemon zested
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Place tomatoes on roasting tray or oven proof frying pan, drizzle 1 tbsp oil, chili flakes & salt over them and roast for 30 minutes @ 160c
- Peel back husk, remove fibers and rub corn in 1 tbsp olive oil. BBQ or cook on grill pan until charred all over
- Cut corn kernals from husk and set aside
- Cook the pasta according to instructions
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat butter on medium heat for approx 4-5 minutes until it starts to brown and foam up. Add garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds
- Add cream and lemon zest to butter, stirring regularly. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-6 minutes until sauce thickens up.
- While the sauce is thickening, in a large frying pan fry the prawns on high heat in 2 tbsp olive oil for approx 3-4 minutes
- Add tomatoes & corn to the prawns. Then add in the cream sauce and pasta. Stir to combine it all together and serve with a sprinkle of chives
- chef knives
- chopping board
- large saucepan
- small saucepan
- baking tray
- grill pan/bbq
- large frying pan
- don't worry about the corn and tomatoes being pipping hot, they will heat up again in the sauce/frying pan with prawns. You can make those elements in advance if serving for a dinner party
- use heavy cream for the sauce as thinner creams can have a tendency to split when heated