This pasta dish is cooked in the style of risotto, with stock added slowly as liquid is absorbed. The starch from the pasta creates a thick broth, perfect for dipping crusty bread. You could use any short pasta you have handy in place of the gnocchetti Sardi, which is available from select delicatessens.
- 18 medium green prawns, peeled and cleaned, heads and shells reserved
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds and trimmings reserved separately
- 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 gm dried gnocchetti Sardi
- 250 ml tomato passata (1 cup)
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 200 gm mixed small tomatoes, halved
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
- To serve: lemon wedges
- 2 ripe Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic head, halved horizontally
- 250 ml dry white wine
- 1For prawn stock, combine ingredients, reserved prawn heads and shells and reserved fennel trimmings in a large saucepan with 1.75 litres cold water. Bring to the simmer over medium-high heat and skim occasionally until well-flavoured (40-45 minutes). Strain 1.5 litres into a clean pan (discard solids) and return to medium heat (remaining stock will keep frozen for 1 month).
- 2Heat oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add fennel bulb, onion and garlic and sauté until tender (3-4 minutes). Add pasta, stir to coat in oil, then add tomato passata, wine, tomato and 250ml prawn stock and stir frequently until liquid is absorbed (5-6 minutes). Add enough stock to cover, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed before adding more, until pasta is al dente and liquid thickens to a brothy sauce (30-35 minutes; there may be a little stock remaining). Add prawns, stir until just cooked through (2-3 minutes), remove from heat. Stir in lemon rind and juice, scatter with reserved fennel fronds and serve hot with lemon wedges.
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