TIGER PRAWNS IN A RED PESTO SAUCE
(Scroll down for recipe)
This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver. I have provided a recipe for pesto, however, I often use a pre-made one that I usually get from Eataly but there are a number of good ones out there.
Although not absolutely critical, it is good to use head-on shrimp, at least a few, as the heads add great flavor to the sauce.
3/4 - 1 lb head on tiger prawns or any shrimp you like.
2 - 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 - 2 zucchinis depending on size
- a few basil leaves cut into chiffonade
- red pesto (recipe below)
- olive oil
Remove heads from prawns and clean the bodies removing the waste vein. Reserve any roe if there is some. I like to leave the tails on for presentation.
Spiralize the zucchini and set aside. Begin to bring to a boil a salted pot of water for the zucchini.
Thickly coat bottom of sauté pan with oil and heat. Add shrimp heads, turning to color the shells. After a few minutes they are ready to release their juices. With tongs hold them vertically to do this or press on them to do the same. The oil will begin to redden in color. Add any roe you may have. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Stir in pesto and heat on low. When the pot of water boils (this is for timing), turn heat up a bit on sauce, add prawns and cook a minute or two per side depending on how big they are until just cooked through. Remove prawns from pan.
Blanche the zucchini in the boiling water, only a minute or two. While zucchini is cooking, add a few spoonfuls of water to the red sauce being careful not to thin it out too much. You can also add some of the sun dried tomato oil.
Spoon some of the sauce onto center of plates. Top with a mound of zucchini. Spoon a bit more sauce on top. Arrange prawns over zucchini garnishing with a prawn head (if desired) and some chiffonade of basil.
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 8 oz sun dried tomato halves in oil or not (if in oil you can add some to sauce as you are cooking the shrimp
- 3/4 extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves
- pinch of sea salt
- ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1/4 cup of pistachios onto a baking sheet. Place pan in oven and toast nuts for about 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
Alternatively, you can toast them in a pan, moving them constantly and careful not to burn. This method will take a few minutes. When they have begun to color, turn off heat and continue to move around the pan for another minute or so being careful not to burn.
Place tomatoes into a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes have plumped up, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, draining any remaining water, and let cool.
I like to boil the garlic as well. It makes it a little gentler. You can add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the tomato water for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool a little before handling. Remove outer skin.
Place all ingredients into a food processor and process to a smooth paste