Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prawn and Linguine Parcels

There are some things in life you can't go wrong with. The little black dress, diamond earrings, fine bone china. Chocolate tart. Bubble baths. A good book. Fresh flowers. And prawns with garlic, chilli and white wine.

I try to always have a bag of prawns in the freezer. Fresh from the market, preferably bought at 4am, is better, I know, but let's pretend I have a Little Girl, and I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least half-tired. Therefore, fresh from the freezer is the best you'll get at my house. I always look at prawn recipes, and apart from the occasional green curry, I mostly end up cooking it with garlic, chilli and wine. Why mess with a winner?

That was the plan last night, until I had a quick look at my go-to website for recipes, Lovely site, this one. Whatever I look for, I often end up using a recipe from here. So I typed in "prawn", and this great recipe came up: Prawns cooked in tomato sauce, and then baked with pasta in little parcels. As I mentioned before, I don't really "do" tomatoes, especially not with fish, but I really liked the idea, and thought I'll use my normal recipe and finish it off in the oven. I do realise that this is nothing new. In fact, I'm sure most of you guys think that cooking in parcels is SO 2007. Please bear with me. I'm sometimes a bit slow.

You know what? It was fabulous, if I may say so myself. I thought it would be good (the basic recipe is a winner, after all), but this was beyond a winner. This was like Titanic winning 11 Oscars. You'd think it will be your basic pasta dish, only served in a paper parcel. Not so. The final blast in the oven combines all the flavours beautifully, and the pasta itself becomes infused with the flavours of the garlic, chilli and wine. I used only enough chilli to give the pasta a nice warmth, as I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat. Feel free to up the amount based on the toughness of your tastebuds.

If you, like me, prefer to see if a new trend (like cooking in parcels) stands the test of time before trying it out, and haven't tried this before, let me assure you that this one is a keeper. Think of it as the pasta version of an interesting twist to the little black dress.

Prawn and Linguine Parcels with Chilli, Garlic and Wine
Adapted from Taste
Serves 2

250g linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, depending on taste
300g frozen prawns, defrosted, or fresh, cleaned prawns if you are that way inclined
a glass of white wine
a small handful of chopped parsley

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Cook the pasta in a large pot of water for 7 minutes (you want it slightly undercooked). Drain and keep seperate.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a frypan until bubbly. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the prawns, and cook until they just turn pink. Add the white wine and pasta, cook until heated through.

To make the parcels, cut 2 pieces each of baking paper and aluminium foil, about 35cm square.

Place a piece of baking paper on a piece of aluminium. It helps to put this into a bowl, to prevent the juices going everywhere. Place half of the pasta in the parcel, and fold over the edges to seal. Repeat with the other parcel.

Place both parcels on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Serve in the parcels, sprinkled with a little chopped parsley.


  1. that looks GORGEOUS! I love the idea of parcels. Thanks - this is definitely going to get made!!
    Robyn (I used extra exclamation marks in case you doubt me :-)

  2. Hm, I've never tried pasta in parcels. I usually just do fish and veggies, but that looks delicious. I agree you can't go wrong with prawns :-)

  3. Well, I'm even slower than you - haven't tried cooking in parcels yet. Always look so elegant upon presentation though, doesn't it?

    PS - Love love love Also one of my go-to sites.

  4. Oh WOW! I'm with you on the cooking in parcels thing - I don't care HOW 2007 it is, I love it! Looks fantastic - a real keeper :)