linguine with prawns & garlic in a prawn oil
Sometimes we may cook from a recipe which calls for prawns but have no use for the shells. In our household those scraps never go to waste – B often uses them to create a prawn bisque, simmering the shells gently to coax out all the lovely shellfish flavours. Another thing he likes to do is make an intense prawn oil which is wonderful drizzled over soups, risotto or a warm salad of freshly grilled seafood. Last weekend he brought home some magnificent king prawns from the Kensington Fish Shop, stripped the shells to make a prawn oil, then simply pan-fried the prawns with garlic, and tossed it all together with some linguine. The fragrant oil really accentuated the sweetness of the meaty prawns and the caramelised garlic added a slight crunch and a warm nuttiness. If you follow the below quantities you’ll be left with a good cup of extra prawn oil which can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Linguine with Prawns and Garlic in a Prawn Oil
16 large prawns, deshelled and deveined (reserve the shells)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
500ml rapeseed oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
First, make the prawn oil. Into a large heavy-based pan, add 2 tbsp of the rapeseed oil and sauté the carrot, onion and celery until soft. Add the tomato paste, bay leaf and then the prawn shells and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Be sure to bash up the shells, especially the heads, with a wooden spoon to extract the flavour.
Pour in the remaining rapeseed oil and leave on high heat for 3-4 minutes than lower to a bare simmer and cook for at least 90 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, strain into a container and discard the solids.
Sauté the prawns and garlic in the olive oil on a high heat for 5-6 minutes or until the prawns are cooked through, taking care not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile cook the linguine according to packet instructions, until al dente, then drain.
Assemble by adding 3-4 tbsp of the prawn oil per person to the pasta and then tossing through the prawns and garlic. Season to taste again before serving.