Linguine with Pancetta and Prawns in a Saffron Cream

We joined Chef Tim Meevasin and his son, Weston, to learn how to make a linguine with pancetta and prawns in a saffron cream. It's easier than it sounds, as well as creamy and delicious! You can watch the video to follow along to see how it's done. Give it a try at home and when you do, don't forget to upload a picture and tag @NevadaMilk and @personalcheftim.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Linguine
  • 8 oz Pancetta cut into a small dice
  • 1 cup Shallots, diced small
  • 2 oz Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp All purpose flour
  • 2 lb Raw, head on prawns
  • 2 cups Cold Water
  • 2 grams Saffron
  • 2 tbsp Chicken base
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • First, bring salted water to a boll in a large stockpot, cook the pasta until al dente, or slightly firm in the middle.  Strain, and rinse in cold water and reserve for later.
  • Now its time to make the fumet, or shrimp stock.  This is the most important step in the recipe and adds all of the flavor and depth to the dish.  I always use head on prawns, because of all the flavor in the head of the shrimp for the stock, but raw headless shrimp will also work if you can’t find head on shrimp. We’ll start by peeling and deveining all of the shrimp. We’ll reserve the shrimp meat and season it with EVOO and salt and pop it in the fridge while we finish the stock.
  • Take all of the shrimp heads and peels, and in a small saucepan, cover them with 2 cups of COLD water and the 2T of chicken base (like Better than Bouillon). Bring to a gentle simmer and keep it there for approx. 20-30 minutes.  Strain out all the shells, taste and adjust for salt. The broth should be borderline salty to ensure all of the dense pasta has enough seasoning. Now, add the prized saffron and let steep.
  • In a wide and large saucepan (Such as a Le Cruset), start by heating some grapeseed oil and add the pancetta. Cook until all the fat has rendered out and the pancetta is nice and crispy. Add the diced shallots and cook until soft, add the flour to soak up the remainder of the fat in the pan to start our sauce.  Slowly add the strained shrimp stock into the flour, bacon, and shallot mixture, whisking to ensure all of the flour clumps dissolve. Keep the heat at a low/medium until the sauce thickens. Add the prawns, cream and cooked linguine to the sauce.  Toss and stir until the shrimp is cooked and the pasta is evenly coated, approx. 2-3 minutes.  
  • Garnish with Italian parsley and Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Chef Tim Meevasin.

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