There's no better combination than Garlic Prawn Spaghetti, tossed with a butter white wine sauce, fresh parsley and parmesan. This no-cream version is simple food perfection at it's finest.
I'm a prawn girlie, and will eat them every opportunity I get. I honestly thing there are few things in life better than garlic prawns with with butter and white wine - the combination of flavours are rich and so delicious. Freshly chopped parsley cuts through the richness and is just deliciously grassy.
This is an (almost) one pot recipe that you'll be able to make in half an hour. There's very little chopping involved, and just a little bit of grating (for that fresh parmesan), so if you make this you'll have a simple and delicious meal on the table in no time. Let's do it!
What do you need for Garlic Prawn Spaghetti?
- Prawns - you can use fresh or frozen, but if you're using frozen, defrost them in a sieve under running tap water before you start cooking. I like to use prawn cutlets, which is basically just the meat of the prawn and the tail.
- Garlic - ah yes. GARLIC. We're going to add this twice, once when we cook the prawns, and then when we make the buttery sauce. Not only is garlic delicious, it's also really good for you. So add more.
- White wine - a dry white wine is perfect for this dish, you don't want anything too sweet or it will change the flavour profile of the dish. The wine will not only add a beautiful flavour, but do the job of deglazing the pan, so you'll get all the yummy flavours leftover from cooking the prawns, and have an easier time cleaning up. The alcohol will burn off when cooking.
- Lemon - We'll use both the zest and juice of a lemon. Zest first, then juice.
- Butter - salted please. And real butter if you eat dairy. If not, I recommend using oil to cook the prawns, and then a butter substitute for the sauce, like Nuttelex.
- Dijon Mustard - adds a little bite to the sauce.
- Spaghetti - A fine spaghetti works really well here - like angel hair. You can also use gluten free spaghetti if you prefer.
- Parmesan - I like to use block parmesan and grate it. You can grate it into finer shavings which melt into the pasta.
- Chicken stock powder - this is optional, but I like to flavour the pasta water with it. You can also use salt.
- Parsley - as these are the only greens in this dish we'll use a whole bunch, chopped up finely. The heat of the pasta will soften the leaves and you'll get a really lovely grassy taste that complements the richness of the sauce. I like to finely chop leaves and stalks, as it's quicker and you get more bang for your buck. Save a few leaves to garnish at the end.
- Salt and pepper - this dish needs a good amount of salt and pepper to finish and bring out the flavours.
- Olive oil - Also don't be afraid to drizzle liberally at the end. Even if you think you're adding a lot, you're adding a lot less than any restaurant does!
What makes this Garlic Prawn Spaghetti so good?
- Firstly, we cook the prawns in garlic, olive oil and butter. Yes. The holy trinity. Butter adds flavour and oil cooks at a higher temp.
- White wine! A dry white wine will bring all the flavour from the cooked prawns, garlic and butter from the bottom of the pan and concentrate it into the base of our sauce.
- BUTTER. Or as the French say, beurre. Which I feel is just a lot more like what butter should sound like. I digress. Butter emulsifies and thickens the sauce, so it coats each strand of pasta in a deliciously rich combination of flavours.
Top tip when cooking Prawns
When cooking your prawns, simply cook on one side without touching for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you see them start to go opaque and the edges become pink. Then flip them once, and once only, and cook for 30 seconds more. Then set aside until we add them back into the pasta. This will give you perfectly cooked (and not overcooked) prawns.
Substitutions for Garlic Prawn Spaghetti
- Alternative proteins - use firm white fish or scallops instead of prawns, or you could use chicken tenders or chicken breast sliced into pieces.
- Vegetarian - To make this vegetarian, you can either make straight garlic pasta and skip the prawns, or you could add a firm cheese in place of the prawns, like halloumi, and have very cheesy garlic butter pasta.
- Dairy Free - Use oil to cook the prawns, and then a butter substitute for the sauce, like Nuttelex. Use shredded dairy free parmesan in place of parmesan cheese.
- Gluten Free - Use gluten free spaghetti.
- Kids may prefer to skip the parsley. If so serve them at step 8, before you add the parsley, and then add parmesan on top.
Equipment to make Garlic Prawn Spaghetti
You will need a pot, a stovetop, a frying pan.
More Pasta Recipes
Garlic Prawn Spaghetti
- Frying pan
- 10 g chicken stock powder
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 350 g raw prawn cutlets peeled prawns
- 1 lemon
- 80 g parmesan block
- 1 bunch parsley
- 400 g spaghetti
- 40 g butter 100 g total for the recipe
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 60 g butter 100 g total for the recipe
- ¾ cup pasta water
- Salt and pepper
- Place a large pot of water on the stove on high, and add chicken stock powder.10 g chicken stock powder
- Peel and chop garlic, then add half to a bowl with olive oil and prawns and toss to coat. Set aside the remaining garlic.4 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 350 g raw prawn cutlets
- Zest lemon then slice in half, finely grate parmesan and finely chop parsley.1 lemon, 80 g parmesan, 1 bunch parsley
- Add spaghetti to the boiling water and set a timer for a minute less than al dente, as indicated on the packet. When it is time to drain the pasta, first take a mug of pasta water from the pot, then drain.400 g spaghetti
- Place a frying pan on medium-high and add butter. Once melted, add prawns and cook for a minute on one side (without stirring), then another minute on the other side, then remove prawns from the pan and transfer to a plate.40 g butter
- Add white wine to the pan and stir to deglaze the pan (this will take all the yummy flavours from the bottom of the pan). The alcohol will cook off.½ cup white wine
- Reduce heat and then add garlic, mustard and then juice lemon directly into the pan. Then add butter and stir until you get a creamy sauce.1 lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 60 g butter
- Add drained pasta, parsley, prawns (say that three times fast), lemon zest and half the pasta water to the pan and toss to coat, finishing cooking the pasta in the pan, then turn off the heat. If the pasta seems a bit dry, add more pasta water.¾ cup pasta water
- To serve, divide amongst plates and top with generous heaps of parmesan. Season if needed. For very little ones you may want to chop up the pasta so they can pick it up in their hands.80 g parmesan, Salt and pepper