When I was young, my parents owned a chain of fast-food outlets in Sydney, The Rib Runner. Being an evening trading business, dad was at the stores most nights and was home for an evening meal only a couple of nights a week. Most nights it was just mum, me and my sister, and dinner was never much of a production, something simple like plain tomato pasta or sausages and always with a cucumber and tomato salad, such a vivid memory. While I don’t think our tastes particularly advanced back then however I do remember always looking forward to the nights dad was home so we could have a “special dinner”.
A very 90’s and very popular “special dinner” in our house was this Prawn and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta, a recipe mum found in The Sydney Morning Herald ‘Good Living’ section. In the 90’s it was all about Mediterranean flavours, everything had pesto, lunch at a cafe was always a focaccia, and seafood and Chardonnay was all the rage. Ah those were the days.
This dish makes me feel very nostalgic about my childhood. I think the original recipe calls for a splash of dry Vermouth, however, with or without Vermouth, it’s bloody delicious, I hope you enjoy it too.
4 tbs oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of basil
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips (I used 50/50 sun-dried and semi-dried, hence the two colours)
750g raw prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup pouring cream
400g wide egg fettuccine
1 tsp cornflour
In a large frypan, over medium heat, add oil, garlic and basil. Fry off for a few seconds to cook the garlic and release the fragrance of the basil. Reduce the heat to low and then add your prawns. You just want to heat them slightly, do not cook right through. When slightly coloured on each side, remove prawns and set aside.
Cook your pasta according to the directions.
Add your sun-dried tomatoes and increase the heat to high. Cook off for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and cream. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let the flavours infuse for 10 minutes.
Dissolve the cornflour in a couple of tablespoons of water. Bring sauce to a boil and whisk in cornflour thickener. Once combined and slightly thickened, turn off the heat, return the prawns and leave for a couple of minutes for the prawns to warm through.
To serve, place pasta in a bowl, pour over sauce. Yum. So easy, so simple, so 90’s 😉