Halliday Magazine

Danielle Alvarez’ Casarecce with prawns, mint and pistachio

While it may not be typical to serve parmesan on seafood pastas, cheese and anchovies are such good friends that this can’t be a hard-and-fast rule. Do whatever makes it more delicious for you, Danielle says.

Danielle Alvarez’

THIS PASTA WILL ONLY be as delicious as the quality of the prawns you use. Although I’ve not specified it as an ingredient, feel free to top the dish with a dusting of grated Parmigiano Reggiano – I won’t judge!



● 250 g dried casarecce

● 250 g peeled green king or tiger prawn meat, chopped into large chunks (about 12–15 whole raw prawns)

● ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

● 4 garlic cloves, minced

● 1 ¾ cup (250 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

● 1–2 red birdseye chillies, thinly sliced

● zest and juice of 1 lemon

● juice of 1 orange

● 25 g unsalted butter, cubed

● 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

● 2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped

● 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

● fine sea salt


● ¼ cup (30 g) toasted pistachios, crushed in a mortar and pestle


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta.

Once you’ve gathered and prepared your ingredients, drop your pasta into the water and cook until al dente. It should take about 12–13 minutes (if you use a different shape of pasta, then adjust the cooking time to suit).

Season your prawn meat with a good pinch of salt and set aside. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and chilli.

Add in a pinch of salt and sizzle for 2–3 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and juice, along with the orange juice. Bring to a simmer, then add in the prawns. Simmer until the prawns turn pink, then immediately turn the heat off to avoid overcooking them.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a mug of the starchy pasta water. Return the prawn pan to a high heat and add in the pasta and the reserved pasta water. Bring to a vigorous simmer and cook until the sauce is coating the pasta and looks glossy.

To finish, add in the butter and the chopped herbs and toss together. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt.

Divide the pasta between 2 bowls and serve hot, topped with the toasted pistachios. ●






Hardie Grant