Garganelli Pasta with Spot Prawns and a
Lemon-and-Thyme Butter Sauce
by Rob Feenie
(Ten Speed Press, 2002)
This dish was invented one night when I was craving some pasta, and it quickly went on the menu. The pasta is just coated rather than swimming in sauce. Serve this meal with a light Macon Chardonnay or a New Zealand Chardonnay.
2 1/2 cups garganelli or penne pasta
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs thyme, plus 2 sprigs with leaves removed
1 teaspoon heavy cream (optional)
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fine lemon zest
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons julienned flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fine minced lemon zest
12 large prawns, peeled
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small shallot, minced
Prepare the Pasta
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta to al dente stage. Strain without rinsing the pasta. Toss with a small amount of olive oil. Spread on a flat baking sheet to air dry-this step allows the starch to remain on the pasta, which makes sauces cling better. You can do this ahead of time and store the pasta in resealable plastic bags.
Prepare the Sauce
1. In a small pot, combine vinegar, wine and the 4 sprigs thyme. Reduce to a syrupy consistency. Remove thyme sprigs. Whisk in cream-this step will prevent the sauce from separating. Remove from heat and whisk in butter a bit at a time. If sauce cools too much, return to low heat, but do not let it boil. When butter is incorporated, add lemon juice and zest along with thyme leaves to mixture. Season with salt. Keep warm.
Prepare the Pasta Glaze
1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, reduce stock by half. Whisk in butter. Add the pasta and toss to warm through. Add tomato, chives, parsley and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Prepare the Prawns
1. Season prawns with salt. In a nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is lightly smoking, add the prawns and quickly sauté. When prawns are pink on one side, add butter, garlic and shallot. Turn prawns and continue sautéing until cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm.
1. Over low heat, add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the lemon and thyme sauce to the prawn juices. Toss until thoroughly warmed. Divide among 4 large bowls. Place 3 prawns on top of the pasta. Drizzle warm sauce on top of the prawns and around the plate.
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