A friend of mine made a chilli prawn pasta for a group of our friends about a year ago and we still talk about it. I asked her for the secret recipe last night and she replied; lots of chilli.
With that to go on, here is my interpretation. This recipe is super easy, you can be flexible with the ingredients (a necessity in my kitchen), and it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Chilli and Garlic Prawn Spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small brown onion, diced
- 1 red chilli, sliced (remove the seeds if you don’t like the heat)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 150g spaghetti (I used a gluten free spaghetti made from corn and rice flour)
- 200g fresh or thawed prawns (I got mine from Aldi)
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- pinch of rock salt
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- cracked pepper
- extra chilli (fresh, dried or both)
Heat the olive oil in a high-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until it starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, chilli flakes and fresh chilli to the mix and fry until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
Add the prawns to the pan and fry until they start to turn pink in colour, then stir in the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and salt. Bring the mixture to the boil, then turn the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
Drain the spaghetti and divide it into two bowls. Top each bowl with a handful of baby spinach and ladle over the prawns. The spinach will wilt slightly with the heat of the sauce.
Top with a generous cracking of black pepper and extra chilli.
This recipe would also be delicious with chicken or even tuna instead of prawns. If substituting in chicken, slice 1 large chicken breast into strips and make sure the chicken is cooked through before adding the tomatoes. If using tuna, add a 185g can of tuna when you add the tomatoes.
A Note on Balsamic Vinegar
I tried balsamic vinegar in a Donna Hay Recipe for Chilli Beef Bolognese and it changed my world. The vinegar adds an incomparable depth and ‘more-ish’-ness to any chilli tomato sauce.