Argentine prawn pasta
Updated: Jul 29
Argentina is famous for its fabulous steaks and red wine, and Chile for its seafood. At least, that's what I thought before visiting Europe last year. (Remember that? International travel? No quarantine restrictions?)
Whilst shopping for food ingredients, we came across a store that sold only frozen food. In the seafood section we were surprised to see many large boxes of Argentine king prawns. During our stay, we found many more of these stores, and many more boxes of prawns. The prawns are about 15cm long - similar in size to Thai king prawns.
So here's Pedro's recipe for Argentine king prawns in a pasta sauce.
2 knobs butter
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
10 king prawns, peeled and de-veined
3 large cloves garlic - 1 chopped, 2 crushed
200g dry long pasta
2 large leeks. Use all of the white stem and a little of the green part. Slice them in half along their length and then cut it into thin slices crossways.
1/4 medium sized capsicum (red bell pepper), julienned and cut into lengths of 3cm
1 fillet anchovy, broken up into very small pieces
Slithers of hot chilli if desired - Habanero or Calabrese
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon tomato paste
150 ml white wine
2 tablespoons mascarpone
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Put the water on to boil for the pasta.
Heat one of the 2 knobs of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. When it gets to a medium temperature add the prawns and 1 crushed clove of garlic. Cook the prawns for a 2-3 minutes, take out and set aside.
Pour out the remaining oil and butter, and the liquid released by the prawns, and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. This makes the sauce less fishy.
Throw the pasta into the water (8 minute cooking time is assumed)
To the frying pan, add the other knob of butter and 4 tablespoons of oil. As soon as this heats up, add the leek, capsicum, 1 chopped clove of garlic and anchovies, and slithers of hot chilli if desired. Cook until the leek is soft and translucent.
Add the capers, 1 crushed clove of garlic and tomato paste, and continue stirring. Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add the mascarpone. Stir well, add the thyme, season, and add a ladle-full of pasta water.
2 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the prawns to the sauce, drain the pasta and add the pasta to the sauce. Mix thoroughly and continue cooking for the remaining 2 minutes of pasta cooking time. By this time the prawns should be just cooked without being overdone.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pair this dish with a Torrontés wine from Salta. And as they say in Spanish, 'Buen provecho.' (Enjoy your meal!)
And there are lots more recipes in my book, An Argentine in my Kitchen.