Wafu pasta: Fettuccine with prawns, tomato and sake-soy butter

An umami-packed combination that just works.
A black plate holding fettuccine, prawns and chunks of tomato, with a black fork and spoon to the side.John Paul Urizar

Wafu pasta – Japanese-style pasta – is said to have originated after World War II when dried pasta from Italy became readily available in Japan.

Variations of wafu pasta can be found widely throughout Japan. The naporitan might see red sauce combined with Japanese sausage, capsicum and Tabasco, while miso could find its way into wafu carbonara.

Tomato, soy and sake are all umami flavours, and when combined here, they pack a serious flavour punch. You can swap out the prawns for crab or lobster if you like.



1.Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (5-7 minutes). Drain.
2.Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic and stir until fragrant (10 seconds), then add cherry tomatoes and stir until blistered (2-3 minutes). Add prawns and sake, and stir until prawns are half-cooked (2 minutes), then add butter, soy and pasta, and toss to coat and combine.
3.To serve, sprinkle pasta with togarashi to taste and top with shiso.

Togarashi is available from Asian supermarkets. Shiso cress is available from select greengrocers.


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