Prawn and pesto pasta

Oct 20, 2021
This prawn and pesto pasta is restaurant quality and won't break the bank to make. Source: Getty Images

When I’m planning my recipes for the week, I try to incorporate meals those on a tight budget can also create. Prawns can be a little expensive — at the time of writing, it was between $20 and $25 per kilogram depending on where I was purchasing from — but by pairing it with an inexpensive ingredients like pasta, I’ve found you can really make your money go further and you end up with a tasty and affordable meal.

This prawn and pesto pasta recipe is easy to make. You’ll serve yourself a restaurant quality meal, and you won’t break the bank doing so. If you enjoy seafood and want something to splurge on, perhaps this is the recipe you should file away for later.

Serves 4.


  • 340g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 250g angel hair pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. If using frozen prawns, place in a colander and run cool water over top to thaw. Peel the prawns and remove the tails. Pat prawns dry with a paper towel.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add pasta and continue to boil until it is tender, 5-7 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining pasta in a colander.
  3. While pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the dish. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add prawns and sauté just until they turns pink and opaque (2-3 minutes). Remove cooked prawns to a clean bowl.
  4. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add grape tomatoes and minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to burst and release their juices. If the garlic begins to brown before the tomatoes have burst, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to slow the browning.
  5. Once the tomatoes have broken down in the skillet, add the cooked and drained pasta, pesto, and about half of the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat everything in the pesto, adding more of the pasta water if needed to loosen the pasta and spread the pesto over everything.
  6. Finally, return cooked prawns to the skillet and stir to combine with the pasta. Top with grated Parmesan and serve.

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