Malloreddus with prawns and smoked bottarga

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 350 gm malloreddus (gnocchetti Sardi) (see note)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 25 gm butter
  • 100 gm smoked bottarga, finely grated (see note)
  •  
  • Prawn stock
  • 8 large green tiger prawns, shells removed and reserved and intestinal tract removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • ½ bunch (about 5 stalks) basil
  • 750 ml (3 cups) fish stock, or water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
01   For prawn stock, preheat oven to 180C, place prawn shells on an oven tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and roast for 10 minutes or until starting to soften. Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add carrot, onion, celery and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes or until starting to colour. Add prawn shells, tomatoes and basil, cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until thick, then add stock, 2 tsp sea salt, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, skimming surface, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding solids. Makes about 3 cups.
02   Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add malloredus and cook for 10-15 minutes or until al dente, then drain.
03   Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat oil, add garlic and chilli and cook for 2 minutes or until starting to colour, add prawn stock and basil leaves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Cut prawns into 2cm pieces, add to stock with malloredus and cook for 10 minutes or until stock is almost absorbed and prawns are cooked through. Add butter and bottarga and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until it reaches a creamy consistency. Serve immediately.
Note Malloredus, or gnocchetti Sardi, is small, shell-shaped pasta, coloured with saffron, available from Italian delicatessens. Michael Gwizdek makes his own. Bottarga is dried mullet roe, available at fishmongers and specialty food stores. Smoked bottarga is available at Karasumi Australia, (07) 3868 1983 and select fishmongers.
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