This fuss-free yet flavoursome Creamy and Spicy Prawn Pasta dish is the perfect combination of juicy prawns with garlic, chilli, and butter. It is very easy to prepare which makes it perfect for a quick weekday meal or even a romantic dinner for two.
To turn this ultimate pasta dish into a feast, serve it with cheesy garlic bread and a nice bowl of salad.
Prawns are the main ingredient of this delicious pasta dish and it is best to try and buy the fresh ones. I personally prefer fresh tiger prawns or king prawns for the chunkier texture. Also, they add a luxurious feeling to the dish and they are amazingly juicy. I buy them in bulks, peel, devein and freeze for future use. There is a short video attached to the recipe card to show how to peel and devein raw prawns.
You can keep them frozen for up to 3 months and defrost fairly quickly which makes them perfect for emergencies. Alternatively, you can buy good quality frozen prawns in supermarkets to make things easier. You can also use smaller prawns (shrimps in the U.S.) if you prefer.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Prawns - Fresh raw tiger prawns are the best option, they're big and juicy and taste amazing. Buy fresh prawns with shells and heads, if you can. However, peeled and deveined prawns make life easier so it's up to you what prawns to use. For a convenient alternative, use regular raw prawns, they're smaller but cheaper, and they still taste great.
- Cherry Tomatoes - They are one of the main ingredients of this sauce. Try to use the best quality tomatoes that you can, as it makes big difference. Vine-ripened large tomatoes work also great.
- Mushrooms - Fresh button or chestnut mushrooms are perfect for this recipe but you can use any favourite mushroom of yours.
- Brandy or white wine - A good quality brandy goes well with meat or seafood dishes. Alternatively, a dry white would do the job too. You can substitute it with chicken or vegetable stock if you don't want to use alcohol.
- Garlic - This recipe is not really heavy on the garlic, but you can adjust the amount to your taste. You can turn it into a paste with a Mortar and Pestle or grate using a Microplane zester before adding it to the sauce.
- Double cream - This recipe will work ok with any full fat cream, but the sauce thickens better with heavy or double cream. If you use single or whipping cream, the sauce will be thinner.
- Parmesan - Use freshly grated ones and stay away from grated parmesan as they won't melt smoothly.
- Mascarpone Cheese - I love this creamy cheese as it adds a velvety and rich texture. You can substitute it with creme fraiche or cream cheese.
- Shallots - They have a finer and sweeter flavour than onions but you can use onions if you don't have them in hand.
- Pasta - I prefer long shaped pasta such as tagliatelle, fresine, linguini or spaghetti for this creamy and cheesy sauce.
- Herbs - I used fresh parsley and dill as they pair perfectly with prawns and garlic. They also add fresh flavours to this pasta dish. You could substitute them with chives, chervil or tarragon if you prefer.
It is very easy to make this delicious pasta, and it takes very little time to cook. To achieve the best results, you need to follow a few simple steps:
Start cooking the pasta sauce after you put the pasta water to boil. You will have both the sauce and the pasta ready at the same time.
For the pasta sauce, use a large wok or a large non-stick skillet. Place the pan on medium to low heat and melt the butter. Add the prawns and sauté for a minute, just until they turn pink. If you cook any longer than that, they will shrink and get a rubbery texture. Remove them on a plate and set them aside. Add olive oil to the same pan and sauté the shallots along with the garlic.
Turn the heat up before adding the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, then add the brandy or white wine. Add the tomatoes, chilli (optional) and the black pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
Stir in the mascarpone cheese until dissolved. Pour the double cream in along with 100 ml of pasta water. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes until the creamy mixture is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
Add the cooked prawns and the parmesan, check the seasoning and adjust it to your taste. Stir in the herbs and mix until nicely combined, drain the cooked pasta and add it to your sauce.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
For other delicious pasta dishes why not try:
Yes, you can reheat it in a microwave or on the hob, making sure it's piping hot. Don't reheat a second time!
My favourite herbs to pair with prawns or any other seafood dishes are parsley, dill, tarragon, chervil, or chives.
Top Tip From the Chef
Adding some pasta water to the sauce helps thicken the sauce and makes it easier to stick to the pasta. The starch in the pasta water binds the sauce together and gives a creamier texture.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this Creamy Prawn Pasta as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Creamy Prawn Pasta
- 400 g fettuccine or linguine pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt (to add to water to cook the pasta)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium banana shallot (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 200 g button or chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
- 100 ml brandy or dry white wine
- 300 g cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
- 1 red chilli (optional) (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 40 g mascarpone cheese
- 300 ml double cream
- 450 g tiger prawns (peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise)
- 100 g parmesan (grated)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon dill (finely chopped)
- salt to taste
- Put a large pan on high heat with enough water to cook pasta and add 1 tablespoon salt.
- Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packaging.
- Start making the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
- Put a wok or a large non-stick skillet on medium to low heat and melt the butter.
- Add the prawns and sauté for a minute, just until they turn pink. If you cook any longer than that, they will shrink and get a rubbery texture. Remove them on a plate and set them aside.
- Add olive oil to the pan and sauté the shallots along with the garlic.
- When the shallots are softened, add the mushrooms and sauté for few minutes.
- Add the brandy or dry white wine and reduce until it’s totally evaporated.
- Add cherry tomatoes, chilli and freshly ground black pepper, cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
- Stir in the mascarpone cheese until nicely combined then add the double cream.
- Add some pasta water (approximately 100 ml)and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes until the creamy mixture is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
- Add the cooked prawns and the parmesan, check the seasoning and add some salt if needed.
- Add the herbs and stir until nicely combined, drain the cooked pasta and add it to your sauce.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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