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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Tomato and Chilli Stracci with Prawns

This is a pasta dish mum tried a few weeks back, from the magazine Gourmet Traveller, February 2007.  A magazine which was lying about in the office.  Mum tried to look for it from GT online to no avail.  Probably because they don't archive that far back.  Well anyways, this is great pasta recipe.  Not your usual pasta topped with cheese.  This one is topped with the chilli breadcrumbs made of sour dough bread.  Definitely a grown up pasta dish as the chilli is really biting. 

To make this pasta dish you need:
100 ml extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 long red chillies, finely chopped

250g yellow grape tomatoes 
(excluded in mum's dish as the yellow variety was not available at the time)

250g red grape tomatoes

100 ml tomato passata
(can be bought from your local deli or providore)

80ml (1/3 cup) white wine

400 g stracci 
(the recipe had a note that if stracci is not available, you may substitute pappardelle which was what mum used here)

12 medium green prawns, peeled, veins removed, tails intact and butterflied

Chilli breadcrumbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

70g (1 cup) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs

2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind

For chilli breadcrumbs, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes or until garlic is soft.  Add breadcrumbs and lemon rind and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion, half the garlic and half the chilli and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.  Increase heat to high, add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to soften, add tomato passata and wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook stracci (or papperdelle) in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, combine remaining garlic, chilli and olive oil, season to taste and brush over cut-side of prawns.  Heat a frying pan over high heat, add prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked.

Drain stracci (or pappardellle), toss through tomato sauce and divide among serving bowls. Top with prawns and serve immediately.

The instructions in the magazine did not say where to use the chilli breadcrumbs (which  has been consistent in recent recipes I've encountered from Gourmet Traveller - there are some minor mistakes in some published recipes.  Such as missing instructions) but assuming from the photo that came with the recipe, the breadcrumbs were tossed over the pasta dish before serving.

Gourmet Traveller online has a similar pasta dish recipe for Stracci with Cavolo Nero and Garlic which has a recipe for the stracci pasta and another similar pasta dish from taste.com.au for Stracci with Zucchini and Smoked Salmon where coursely torn lasagna sheets are used.   In mum's search for this pasta variety, it seems that stracci is similar to the pappardelle in that they are wide strips of pasta.  The pappardelle pasta which mum used here is the San Remo brand from the supermarket.  Pappardelle mum learned, is such a delicate pasta variety that cooking time must strictly be followed to produce the al dente texture.  Otherwise, will fall out into strips, which you can see from the photos here.  Next time we use pappardelle, it might be a good idea to keep an iced water bath handy - to soak the pasta to stop it from cooking.

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