Pasta with Prawns, Cherry Tomatoes & Basil

Last year I was able to get a plot at my neighborhood community garden and planted a bunch of herbs along with kale, zucchini and some lettuces. I totally underestimated how quickly herbs can grow and ended up with way too much basil! Besides making pesto, I like to add basil to my pasta. If you have tomatoes from your garden, use them in this pasta as well and feel free to substitute the prawns with chicken or other protein of choice.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 30-40 pieces medium sized Prawns – shelled and deveined
  • 1 box of Cherry Tomatoes (about 250-300g) – washed and halved
  • 6 cloves of Garlic – minced, I love garlic so I usually use about 6 cloves or more
  • a handful of fresh Basil – chopped
  • 4 servings of Pasta – any type
  • 1.5 – 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Garnish/topping (optional):

  • Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Fresh Basil, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In large pot, boil water to cook pasta to al dente. Remember to salt the water to add some flavour. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. In a pan (or large pot) over medium high heat, add olive oil and garlic. Cook until you can smell the garlic and they are just starting to turn golden. Pay attention as garlic burns easily.
  3. Add prawns and cook until about 50% done (ie. the prawns are starting to turn white/pinkish). Add tomatoes and continue to cook until prawns are done and tomatoes have started releasing their juices.
  4. Add the basil, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta into the mixture and give it a good toss around. If it looked a little dry, add a little bit more olive oil. Taste test at this point to see if you need more salt & pepper.
  5. Once everything is well mixed together and the pasta is heated through, it’s done. Before serving, you can grate some parmesan cheese and sprinkle some fresh basil on top as garnish (optional).

Pasta with Prawns, Tomatoes & Basil Recipe

Cooking Tips:
  1. Feel free to switch up the ingredients and try different herbs.
  2. There’s no “sauce” to this dish. The juices from the tomatoes and the flavours from the prawn and basil are enough to flavour the pasta.
  3. To chop the basil, I stack a bunch of leaves together, roll them up like a cigar and chop them up. This gives me long strips of basil.
  4. To keep the pasta from sticking to each other, after draining them, I toss them with a little bit of olive oil. You don’t need to do this step if you finish cooking the pasta at about the same time when the sauce is almost done (ie. cooking of the prawn & tomatoes).
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