Spaghettini with Prawns, Basil, Parsley and Pistachios

. January, 2017
Photography by Earl Carter.
Spaghettini with Prawns, Basil, Parsley and Pistachios

I find this a sublime combination of flavours. Another way to serve this is to chop the prawns and sauté them quickly, then serve with penne. 


1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 large handful basil leaves
1 large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
1 small handful mint leaves
75 grams roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
400 grams dried spaghettini
500 grams peeled raw king prawns 


In a mortar, pound the garlic and half the sea salt into a paste with a pestle.

Add the basil, parsley and mint and continue to pound until the herbs break down and form a thick paste.

Add half the pistachios and work them in well so the paste has a creamy texture. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and stir through the paste with the parmesan, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Season with more salt if required and add a grind of black pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghettini and cook until al dente, a minute or so less than the packet directions.

Place a heavy-based frying pan over high heat with the remaining olive oil. Pan-fry the prawns for 1 minute on each side, then season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Immediately tip the pasta back into the pan, add the herb paste, cooked prawns and some of the reserved cooking water if needed and toss to combine.

Tip onto a large, deep plate and serve immediately.