Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crispy Pancetta and Prawns in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Last weekend, my daughter and I enjoyed a "Girl's Road Trip" to Mendocino.  We found the greatest little market that had every specialty ingredient you could imagine.  We had some great meals at our little beach getaway.  But when I'm home, I don't have access to the kind of places that stock Wagyu Beef and Fideos.  I also can't afford to use these kinds of ingredients, except on a special occasion, like some quality time with my beautiful daughter.  At home, I shop at the local chain grocery store and try my best to make something amazing with whatever I can find.  Luckily, in California, even our chain grocery stores stock a pretty good selection of local and quality ingredients.  My point is that, even if you don't have access to all of the special ingredients you see on TV, you can still make amazingly delicious meals, with just a little creativity.  That's where this recipe came from, and it was delicious!


10 Large Prawns (I was serving two people, adjust accordingly)
Cajun Seasoning

About 1 and 1/2 oz of Pancetta, chopped (I used 1/2 a pkg from the deli section of Save Mart)
Olive Oil
1/4 of a Red Onion
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped fine or minced
2 Tbsp Butter

About 2 Cups of Heavy Cream
1 cup Shredded Fontina Cheese (loosely packed)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
A little cornstarch slurry (cornstarch and ice water) at the end to thicken if desired
1 Cup Frozen Peas (or any Frozen or Leftover Veg)

Cooked Pasta (I use Gluten Free)

Season your Prawns with a light sprinkling of the Cajun Seasoning and let sit in the fridge until you're ready for them.

Fry the chopped Pancetta in the Olive Oil over medium heat until crispy (about 15 minutes).  Drain on paper towels and set aside.  Add the Red Onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the minced/chopped garlic and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring as you go.  Set aside in a small bowl.

Add the 2 Tbsp Butter and heat until melted and bubbling just a bit, then add your Prawns, seasoning side down.  When they curl up (about 4 - 5 minutes), turn them over and cook an additional 4 - 5 minutes, until they are just opaque in the center (you can see it in the side).  Drain on paper towels.

Start your pasta cooking.  Set your timer!

Add the Cooked Onion and Garlic back to the skillet, then add the Heavy Cream and Fontina Cheese.  Stir until the Fontina is melted.  You can add a little salt and pepper here but be careful, as the Pancetta is very salty.  Add a little sprinkle of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder and stir well.   I whisk in a little cornstarch slurry ( mix about a Tbsp of Cornstarch with just a bit of ice water to make a thick liquid) to thicken it a little bit at this point, but it's not necessary.

Drain your cooked pasta when it's done, and add to the sauce in the skillet along with about a Cup of frozen peas.  Stir to combine and heat through.

Serve the pasta with sauce and peas in bowls and top with the prawns and sprinkle the crispy pancetta on top.  Delicious!


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