Recipe supplied for Barilla Australia
250g Barilla Chickpea Casarecce (legume pasta)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 chilli, medium spice
30ml Extra Virgin Olive oil
30ml dry white wine
1 jar Barilla Pesto Genovese
15g mint leaves
12 king prawns, peeled and veined
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Rock salt, for pasta water
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add rock salt. We recommend 7 grams per litre of water.
In a large fry pan, cook the garlic in a little oil, once golden add the prawns. Season to taste, and gently cook for a few minutes.
Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Once the prawns are cooked add chilli, to taste.
Once pasta water is boiling, add the Chickpea Casarecce and cook as per instructions on the box.
Drain and toss the pasta into the fry pan with the prawns, add the Pesto Genovese and mix well. Reserve a spoon on the pasta cooking water.
Add the reserved spoon of cooking pasta water, chopped mint leaves and lemon zest.
The survey found that, when it comes to Australian's pasta cooking habits:
• 31.1% add olive oil to the pasta cooking water
• 61% add salt to the pasta cooking water
• 72.9% bring water to boil before cooking pasta
• 46.4% combine pasta and sauce as you serve
• 18.9% save some of the pasta cooking water and add it to the sauce
• 5.3% check pasta is cooked by throwing it against the wall
• 29.1% rinse pasta after cooking it
By Andrea Tranchero, Barilla Australia Executive Chef
1. SALTY WATER Bring a large pot of salty water to the boil, you need approx. 7 grams of salt per litre of water. This helps to season the pasta as it cooks. Once boiling, add pasta. Top tip: Have patience and wait until the water is boiling with big bubbles, this is what helps the pasta cook correctly.
2. DON'T WASTE YOUR OLIVE OIL Oil and water don't mix, so adding olive oil to your pasta cooking water is a waste! In fact, adding oil to the cooking water will coat the pasta, making it harder for the sauce and pasta to bind well at the end of the cook. Top tip: Save your olive oil for the end – add a generous amount of oil and grated parmesan cheese to serve.
3. AL DENTE Cook the pasta according to the pasta instructions (there's no need to throw the pasta against the wall to check if its ready!). Simply following packet instructions should result in a perfectly al dente taste - not crunchy, but firm with a little bite. Top tip: Don't rinse your pasta! This washes away the starch which is what makes your sauce silky and helps it combine with the sauce.
4. COMBINE IN THE PAN Just prior to being cooked, transfer your pasta to the sauce to finish off the cooking, adding a spoonful of the cooking water. The heat of the pan will help the pasta take on the delicious flavours of the sauce, and the reserved cooking water will help the pasta and sauce combine. Top tip: Make sure to reserve a spoonful of the pasta water once cooked. The salty water not only adds flavour to the dish, but helps the sauce thicken and adds a delicious creamy texture to the pasta.
5. SERVE IMMEDIATELY Don't let your pasta sit on the kitchen bench. Once cooked, serve and eat immediately while the pasta is hot and glossy