Plate up the spaghetti and garnish with the chopped parsley and a sprinkling of grated lemon zest.
Useful tips and interesting facts
Salt is a natural flavour enhancer; if you put a pinch of salt on the garlic cloves, to be subsequently removed, you will enhance their aroma and flavour. The concept of cooking waste is an extremely topical issue and this recipe brings it home to us very well. The parts of the prawns which would normally be thrown away, particularly the heads, are actually useful for adding maximum flavour to this recipe. For this reason, we advise you to press them with a spoon during the flash-frying phase to release an extremely tasty juice that contains their briny essence. When you combine the pasta with the prawn sauce, it is important to toss it briskly, while adding, if required, a spoonful of the pasta cooking water and a drizzle of oil. These ingredients, together with the energetic movement of ladle and pan, will create a sort of emulsion with the pasta starch, thus forming a delicious cream that will bind the pasta and sauce to perfection. The addition of lemon to this dish, and not only, confers a note of freshness and a pleasing hint of acidity, which are the perfect elements of a well balanced recipe. Take care only to grate the yellow part of the lemon zest because the white pith underneath would leave a bitter taste on the palate. Choose an unwaxed lemon and wash it thoroughly before use. Finally, always remember to add parsley at the very end to confer a note of freshness. Cooked parsley, as well as turning black, also loses all of its nutritional properties. You may also use the parsley stalks for their pleasant crispness, further helping to reduce food waste. Do you know why prawns, and shellfish in general, turn red when cooked? It is because their flesh contains various pigments including astaxanthin. When the prawns are alive, this pigment is concealed by the colour of their shells. At high temperatures, the heat destroys the protein layer and all the pigments, apart from astaxanthin, causing the appearance of the typical shade of red we are all familiar with.
There are hundreds of variations to the recipe for spaghetti in prawn sauce, starting from the choice of prawns. You may use red prawns or the more expensive and rare violet-coloured prawn. To avoid over-cooking the prawn, you may turn the flesh into a tartare and add it in the shape of a quenelle before serving. Bacon and prawns are a perfect combo: to add an extra kick to this dish, cut some smoked bacon into thin strips and pan fry until crisp. Add the bacon to the final dish, crumbled into small pieces, and you will amaze yourself, as well as your guests.