fettucine with prawns & scallops

(serves 4 comfortably)
  • 200g pasta (i used fresh pasta, but use what you will)
  • about 12 prawns, de-veined and halved,** reserve the heads, tails and shells for the stock
  • 8 scallops, halved
  • approx 180 ml water 
  • olive oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped 
  • 180 ml white wine + a splash for later 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • bit of cream or milk 
  • salt and pepper to taste
admittedly a little fussy because of the stock, though methinks it's worth the effort cause it squeezes every last bit of prawn-y goodness into the dish. alas dish looks anemic here -- calling out for that final flourish of italian parsley. :-(
  • to make prawn stock:
  1. in a flat-bottomed pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. toss in the prawn heads, tails and shell and turn the heat down to medium-low and let it sizzle away till the shells get crisp and start to turn a wonderful burnished copper. this should take about 10-15 minutes.
  2. ok this is going to sound gruesome but squash + flatten the heads, squeezing out the orangey stuff in the process. remove from heat. transfer to a processor and blitz till fine.
  3. return the blitzed heads to the original pan (which would have traces of prawn-flavoured oil in it) and add water. let it simmer for a coupla minutes, mixing well. 
  4. strain (i use a metal sieve) into a bowl and set aside.
  • to make pasta:-
  1.  over medium-low heat, saute shallots, garlic and onions in a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter till the onions turn translucent and the garlic releases its fragrance (but not browned!). ** at this point, start to bring a pot of water to the boil.
  2.  turn up the heat and tip in the prawns and scallops. saute till the prawns begin to turn pink --just barely --before adding the white wine. let it bubble away for a minute or so before adding in the reserved prawn stock. turn the heat down and let it bubble away till the pasta's ready.
  3. tip the strands of cooked pasta into the pan and turn off the heat.  add a splash of milk, more white wine if you prefer and the remaining tablespoon of butter and toss gently (tongs are esp. handy here!). add salt + pepper to taste.