Prawns Wrapped in Crisp Pasta

Gennaro Contaldo dishes up a feast of Italian flavours with plump prawns in a crisp pasta crust, topped with fresh pesto
By Gennaro Contaldo
Prawns Wrapped in Crisp Pasta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus one hr resting
  • Effort: medium


For the pasta

  • 200 g '00' flour
  • 2 eggs

For the pesto

  • 100 g basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pine kernels
  • 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • pinches salt

For the filling

  • 4 large raw prawns
  • 8 tinned anchovies
  • olive oil, for deep frying
  • salt


1. For the pasta, mix the flour and eggs together and knead for 5 minutes to a make a smooth soft dough. Wrap the dough in plastic film and place in the fridge for an hour or so to rest.

2. Roll the pasta out into a very thin sheet - about 1 mm thick. Scatter the surface with a light dusting of flour and loosely roll it up.

3. With a sharp knife, slice the pasta evenly into ribbons to make a shape similar to tagliatelle. Cover with food wrap to prevent the pasta from drying out, and set aside.

4. To make the pesto, place the basil, garlic, olive oil, pine kernels, Parmesan and salt in an electric food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

5. Shell the prawns, leaving the heads and tails in place. Using a sharp knife, cut along the spine of the prawns and remove the fine black vein that runs along its length. Fill this space with 2 anchovy fillets for each prawn. Secure by wrapping a handful of pasta ribbons around each, from head to tail.

6. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer and fry the prawns for 3-5 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.

7. Place a tablespoon of pesto sauce on four plates, and arrange a prawn on top. Serve straight away.

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