Prawns with fresh borlotti beans


by: Single Chef

I have suggested that you use some of the liquid from cooking the beans to make a little "sauce". However, in our kitchen we never waste anything, so before we start this dish we make a stock from the shells of the prawns, which we use instead of the bean water. We sauté the shells in a little olive oil with a splash of white wine, some chopped chile and garlic (for about 6 ounces prawn shells, we would use half a chile and two garlic cloves), plus a tablespoon of our homemade tomato sauce (you could use tomato passata). Then we add enough water to cover (no more, as we want to concentrate the flavor), boil everything for 10 minutes and strain the stock, really squeezing the shells against the sieve.


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serves: 4

1 pound fresh borlotti (cranberry, beans in their pods, about 9 ounces or 1/4 pound shelled dried borlotti beans, soaked for 24 hours)

1/2 head of garlic (unpeeled, plus 3 extra cloves finely chopped)

1 stalk celery (chopped)

bunch of sage

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12 large fresh prawns (shell on)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sliced sweet chile pepper

1/2 wineglass of white wine

2 tablespoons tomato passata

salt and pepper

To serve:

1 clove garlic

handful of flat-leaf parsley

extra virgin olive oil (preferably Tuscan)

Nutrition Facts
Prawns with fresh borlotti beans

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 771

  • Total Fat: 39.5 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 5.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 26.5 mg
  • Sodium: 214.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 76.1 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 31 g
  •     Sugars: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 30.7 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  First cook the beans: put them into a large pot with the 1/2 head of garlic, the celery, sage and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (don't add salt until the beans are completely cooked, otherwise they will harden). Cover with plenty of cold water (about double the volume of the beans), put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Remove the lid, skim the foam from the top and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are soft to the bite (45 minutes to l hour), stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, then leave to cool in their cooking water.

2.  When the beans are almost ready, peel the prawns, leaving only the heads on. Run a sharp knife along the hack as far as the tail and remove the black thread that runs down it. Then open out the prawns as liar as you can.

3.  Cook the prawns in 2 batches. Heat a large, heavy—bottomed frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add half the chopped garlic and half the sliced chile, and cook for a few seconds over a medium heat, without allowing to color. Season the prawns, then put them into the pan, back downward. Once they have seared and caramelized a little, press the heads to release some of their juices. This not only helps the flavor but will reduce the temperature of the oil and prevent the garlic from burning and turning bitter. If there still isn't enough liquid and the garlic begins to color too much, add a little more oil. Saute the prawns for a couple of minutes, until they turn pink or dark red (depending on the type of prawn) , then flip them over. Transfer to a warm plate.

4.  Wipe out the pan with some paper towel. Add the rest of the oil, garlic and chile and cook the rest of the prawns in the same way.

5.  Return the first hatch of prawns to the pan, then add the wine and let it evaporate. Remove the prawns and set aside in a warm place.

6.  With a slotted spoon, take the beans from their cooking liquid (reserving the liquid) and put them into the pan in which you cooked the prawns. Season and bring to the boil, then add the tomato passata and a ladleful of the cooking water from the beans — you need to add enough liquid to create a little sauce around the beans. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Let the beans heat through for a couple of minutes so they take on the garlic and chile flavors. As they do so, crush a few of them with a wooden spoon to thicken the sauce. Return the prawns to the pan and toss everything together.

7.  Quickly crush the garlic to a paste with the blade of a knife, chop the parsley on top and mix together.

8.  Serve the beans and prawns drizzled liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper and finish with the chopped parsley and garlic.

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