simple prawn pasta

By Emma Chow

Sometimes I want to cook something that I want to eat, not just something that pleases the tastes of the family in general. After all, I’m the one that does all the cooking, shouldn’t I please myself sometimes? On a Friday night I like to cook dishes that remind me of the meals out that my partner and I used to have, before we knew the end of disposable income and the introduction of dinner at 6 or earlier. The benefit of these meals is that it makes me happy and introduces some new flavours to my older son who at first reacts dubiously, but by the end of the meal is often convinced.

These days he eats prawns faster than I can shell. Prawns are easy to cook, but make sure they’re very fresh and use them the day or at the latest the day after you buy them. They freeze well, particularly in their shells. Prawns are also more delicious cooked in their shells and are less likely to overcook and become rubbery this way. Always rinse your prawns in cold water; I prefer to keep them in large bowl of cold water until I’m ready to cook them.

This dish serves 4 people.

Why do I always seem to be cooking dishes for four when baby has his own tiny meals? You should see my partner; he is a big, tall man and still eats like he’s a growing teenager.


500g large uncooked tiger prawns (should be between 10-12 prawns depending on size)

300g spaghetti or other long type pasta

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 tin whole roma tomatoes

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper


In a large pot, cook your pasta as usual but reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside. Rinse out the pot to use again.

Finely chop your garlic and finely dice the onion.

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot and put on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until lightly coloured and onion is translucent. Add prawns to the pot and give a firm shake. Put the lid on and allow the prawns to cook for 3-5 minutes depending on prawn size, till all sides of the prawn are bright orange-red.

Tip in the can of tomatoes and pasta water. Allow sauce to simmer on high for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

It’s against the parmesan with seafood rule, but who cares, add some parmesan. It can make so many things magically more delicious.

Add pasta to the pot of sauce and stir around to combine. Serve immediately.

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