Bursting with flavour, this classic Italian prawn linguine recipe makes a fantastic option for a quick delicious meal!
Prawn pasta or shrimp pasta is such a classic Italian recipe and one of the most loved, especially in the summertime.
So it's time to share my secret recipe for authentic Italian Linguine con gamberi!
Growing up in Sicily, my mum would make this simple prawn pasta every sunday over summer, and it was my absolute favourite pasta dish.
Smothered in a fresh tomato sauce with garlic and lemon, linguine with prawns is such a simple yet sophisticated dish sure to wow guests at the dinner table.
It's my go-to dish for a date night or if I need something quick and delicious to feed my family.
It's a well-balanced healthy pasta dish, it's packed with flavours and absolutely easy to make, I mean, what's not to love?
The best part is that this restaurant-worthy pasta comes together easily in just about 20 minutes, making it a perfect quick dinner meal!
In typical Italian fashion, you basically need just three main ingredients, plus some aromatics and extra-virgin olive oil.
Choose your ingredients wisely, quality is the key here!
Most pasta shapes will go well with this seafood dish. Penne, spaghetti, fusilli and of course linguine are the best options.
My only recommendation is to use high-quality pasta for the best result.
Whenever possible, go for bronze-cut pasta made in Italy (Gragnano pasta is my favourite), which is slightly coarser than usual commercial pasta.
Its unique texture makes it the best vehicle for a great sauce.
Feel free to choose your favorite prawns for this king prawn pasta recipe.
Fresh or frozen raw jumbo prawns are my go-to option, they're big and juicy and taste amazing.
Buy fresh shrimp with shells and heads, if you can. However, peeled and butterflied prawns make the job easier, so you choose!
For a convenient alternative, go for regular raw prawns, they're smaller but much more cost-effective, and they still taste great.
You can use canned or fresh tomatoes to make this easy prawn tomato pasta.
If you're going to use canned tomatoes, the best ones to look for is the San Marzano variety.
They grow in Italy, in the Campania region, and have a PDO (protected designation of origin) status.
If you opt for fresh tomatoes choose cherry or Piccadilly tomatoes, San Marzano or Roma tomatoes.
You don't need to peel cherry and Piccadilly tomatoes, but if you use other varieties, I recommend you blanch the tomatoes, remove their peel and deseed them before use.
Garlic: Add it chopped, grated, or leave it whole for a more subtle flavor.
Lemon: Add a little lemon zest for a refreshing note, it brings this dish to a whole new level
Chili: If you like a little bit of heat, you can easily make chili prawn linguine by adding a generous pinch of red chili flakes. Even better if they come from Calabria, Italy, the region is famous for its amazing chili!
A quick and easy pasta recipe in 4 simple steps
Here are the simple steps and video recipe, to make the best prawn linguine you ever had. You can find the full printable recipe at the bottom of the post.
Step 1 – Pan-fry the cherry tomatoes
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic followed by the tomatoes and a sprig of parsley, and stir-fry for a few minutes.
Step 2 – Add the prawns
Add the cleaned king prawns into the skillet. I like to add whole king prawns first, then a handful of chopped ones, to give more texture to the sauce.
Stir fry them for a couple of minutes, until they're pink and cooked through. Pour in a splash of white wine at this point if you like. Remove the parsley and garlic from the pan and discard.
Step 3 – Cook the pasta
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta al dente, about 8 minutes for linguine.
Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water. Add the pasta into the skillet, and sauté all the ingredients for a minute.
If your sauce it's too dry, pour in a little of the reserved pasta water.
Step 4 – Mix everything together and serve
Stir to combine all the ingredients, then turn the heat off.
Sprinkle some chopped parsley all over the linguine, season generously with freshly cracked black pepper - et-voila, it's all ready to hit your dinner table.
Tips for the BEST King Prawn Linguine
For the most amazing result, here are my cooking tips:
- Once you have shelled and deveined the prawns, you can leave the tail on or chop it off.
- I like to chop ⅓ of the prawns into tiny bits, to make the sauce richer.
- Cook the pasta al dente. Al dente means the pasta has still a firm bite when you drain it, usually 2-3 minutes before the cooking time set on your package instructions.
- When you add the pasta into the skillet and sauté it together with the prawns, a little starch from the pasta is released and creates an embracing creamy sauce, so don't skip this step.
- Always keep ½ a glass of pasta cooking water at hand. If the pasta gets too dry while you sauté it, adding the reserved water to make it creamy again.
- White wine is optional, you can add a splash for extra flavor, but it's really not necessary in this kind of recipe.
Linguine with prawns should be served nice and hot straight away. You can keep them in the fridge for a couple of hours, but remember that seafood spoils easily.
I do not recommend eating it the next day or freezing leftovers.
More pasta recipes to try:
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment and/or a rating below, and share a picture and tag @thepetitecook on Instagram!
Reading your feedback and looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!
Prawn Linguine - Authentic Italian Recipe
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove halved
- 200 g cherry tomatoes cut into quarters lenghthwise
- 320 g linguine
- 700 g cleaned king prawns (no heads and shells)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes optional
- 2 tbsp parsley + 1 sprig finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the garlic followed by the tomatoes and a sprig of parsley, and stir-fry for a few minutes, stirring often.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta al dente, about 8 minutes for linguine.
- Add the red chili flakes (if using ) into the skillet, followed by the cleaned king prawns. I like to add whole king prawns first, then a handful of chopped ones, to give more texture to the sauce. Stir fry them for a couple of minutes, until they're pink and cooked through. Pour in a splash of white wine at this point if you like. Remove the parsley and garlic from the pan and discard them, then sprinkle the lemon zest all over the prepared sauce.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water. Add the pasta into the skillet, and sauté all the ingredients for a minute. If your sauce it's too dry, pour in a little of the reserved pasta water.
- Stir to combine all the ingredients, then turn the heat off. Sprinkle some chopped parsley all over the linguine, season generously with freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.