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This recipe is dedicated to both my daughters, who if they had a choice would want to eat Prawns and Pasta for every meal.  My babies this one is for you.

Unfortunately my younger daughter has severe fish and seafood allergies and therefore I serve her just the pasta.  This sauce recipe actually is a creation that I learnt from my younger brother back in Africa.  It has a blend of Portuguese Indian flavors.  The best thing about this meal is that I make the sauce and use it for both the Pasta and Prawns.  It tastes great either way.

Incase you were curious, there is not much difference between a prawn and shrimp they are both crustaceans but a prawn is usually bigger than a shrimp. There are more complex differences that would only be noticed by a fisherman or a marine biologist.

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Baked Prawns

Total Time to Prepare: 30 minutes or less.

Serving Size: 4 People

Ingredients:

40 prawns (medium size) cleaned and sliced on the top.

2 Bunch of Fresh coriander Leaves  (Basil Leave can be used as well for this recipe)

5 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 green chilies (optional)

¼ tsp salt (more if desired)

Less than a ¼ tsp of black pepper

Less than a 1/4 tsp of cumin powder (optional)

3 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients except prawns in a small  food chopper blender and make into a sauce.  The sauce should not be too thin.  I always taste my sauce as I’m making it  and add extra of whatever maybe needed.   When I make the prawns for my daughter I don’t add the green chillies.
  2. Clean the prawns, and then using a small paring knife, cut along the outer edge of the prawns back, about 1/4-inch deep.  This insert you make is where you will place the sauce.  The deeper you  slice in the further the sauce will get.
  3. Place a foil sheet on your baking tray and spray a little olive oil on the pan.  Take each prawn and insert a small amount of the sauce by using a spoon.
  4. Bake at 380 for about 12 minutes or till you see the prawns are cooked. Once the shrimp have turned to a pink color, they are done.  It only takes a few minutes to cook them.  When they are overcooked, they tend to be rubbery, dry and hard to chew.  Also remember, they are still cooking for a few minutes after you remove them from pan.  If you are not sure, take one out and try it.

Tips:

  • The hardest work in making prawns is cleaning them.  You can either buy them cleaned and deveined or clean them ahead and the freeze them so that when  you want to make prawns it will not take long.
  • I use this sauce for many things, so again  you can make and keep this sauce for at lease a week and then when you  actually cook the meal it will not take long because, the prawns are  cleaned and the sauce is already made.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese  when making this paste.  It  gives it a rich taste.
  • If I add cheese I try not to heat the sauce in the microwave because the cheese tends to become stringy.  I just heat the prawns or pasta and then add the sauce over it and mix it.   If you heat the sauce the next day, just heat it for a minute or less.
  • Always chew the shell before you discard it, because the shells hold a lot of flavor and you will miss out on that if  you throw it away.

How to Clean & Devein Prawns:

  • Pull off the head and legs. (If it  is still attached).
  • You can leave the shell on and use  a pair of kitchen scissors to cut along the outer edge of the prawns back,  cutting the shell so you can get to the vein. The shells hold a lot of  flavor, so I prefer to cook with their shells on.
  • Using a small paring knife, cut  along the outer edge of the prawns back, about 1/4-inch deep.  This insert you make is where you will place the sauce.  The deeper you  slice in the further the sauce will get.
  • If  you can see it, remove and discard the vein (black color) that runs along right under  the surface of the back, with your fingers or the tip of your knife. If  you can’t see the vein, don’t bother with it.  Make sure you rinse the prawn under cold water.
  • Always  wash prawns in cold water.  It’s a food safety requirement for seafood.

Best Way to Eat Baked Prawns:

  • You can eat the prawns with rice, bread, or pasta  or just by itself.

Coriander Pasta

Total Time to Prepare: 30 minutes or less.

Serving Size: 4 People

Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Fresh coriander Leaves  (Basil Leave can be used as well for this recipe)

5 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 green chilies (optional)

¼ tsp salt (more if desired)

Less than a ¼ tsp of black pepper

Less than a 1/4 tsp of cumin powder (optional)

3 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Pasta of your choice.  Penne Pasta is what my kids love.

4 or 5 Cherry Tomatoes cut in halves (optional)

4 or 5 Black  Olives cut in halves (optional)

2 tablespoons of crumbled Feta Cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil the pasta of your choice.
  2. Place all of the ingredients except pasta in a small  food chopper blender and make into a sauce.  The sauce should not be too thin.  I always taste my sauce as I’m making it  and add extra of whatever maybe needed.
  3. Mix the cooked pasta in the coriander sauce.
  4. Add a few cherry tomatoes and a few black olives in the pasta mix.  You can also add some Feta cheese at the end.

About Sunita Bagai

I was born in Malawi Africa, grew up there and moved to the United States for my continuing education. I got my BA and Masters from Golden Gate University, in SF. I got married and moved to Virginia. I've been married 14 years and I have two beautiful daughters who make my life complete. I love to cook and now that both my girls are in school full time, and with my husband's enthusiastic support, I'm following my passion and am offering cooking classes to share my cooking ideas with the world.

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