This incredibly fun dish is much simpler than its name makes out. The most important thing is that you buy yourself some great, fresh produce – especially when it comes to the seafood – and prepare your ingredients before you start cooking.
//A recipe for tiger prawns with filei calabresi aglio e olio
If, like me, this is your first time butterflying prawns, I found this video from Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube enormously helpful (it was my first time butterflying anything). If your prawns are really big and spiky, I’d recommend using a folded paper towel between your fingers and the prawn to prevent any bits of the prawn pricking your fingers.
150ml olive oil, plus extra for cooking
2 small red chillies, chopped (these will be v. hot so deseed if you don’t like too much heat)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lemons, zested and juiced
200g filei calabresi (from Woolies, but any skinny pasta would do)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped (not as hot, but again, if you don’t like too much heat you should deseed it)
6 fresh tiger prawns, butterflied head on and shell on
1 bunch asparagus or broccolini (whichever your preference)
Butterfly your prawns and lay them flat, shell-side down, on a clean preparation area.
In a small bowl combine 100ml olive oil, the small chillies, 2 crushed garlic cloves and half the lemon juice and zest. Brush the marinade over the flesh of the butterflied prawns. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes. (The flesh might begin to turn white, this is the acid in the lemon cooking it, and no need to fret.)
While the prawns are marinating, add the filei calabresi to a pot of boiling water, remembering to stir the pasta every so often to prevent sticking.
In a small pot combine the remaining 50ml olive oil, crushed garlic clove, and lemon juice with the long chilli. Sauté until the garlic turns just golden. Turn off the heat and stir through the parsley. Setthe olio sauce aside.
Heat a dash of oil in a griddle pan on low-medium heat and lay the asparagus to cook, turning every so often. Once cooked remove from the pan (keep the heat on!) and wrap in some foil to keep warm.
Grill the marinated prawns flesh side down for one minute, or until the sides under the shell start to colour. Turn the prawns over and grill for a further 30 seconds and turn off the heat. Let the prawns sit while you drain the pasta. Return it to the pot and stir through the olio sauce.
Plate up and get stuck in!