Simply perfect: Gennaro’s steam-baked linguine with prawns

This light pasta, steam-baked with king prawns, will surely delight your guests as they open their parcels of delicious goodness! Steam-baking is not only a feast for the eyes, but a lovely light way of cooking that locks all the flavours in. I have used ready-foiled parchment paper, but if you can’t find it, use a sheet of parchment paper inside a sheet of foil and make sure you wrap tightly so that none of the juices can escape during cooking.

Linguine al cartoccio con gamberi e pesto
Steam-baked linguine with king prawns and pesto

Serves 4

350g linguine pasta
150ml basil pesto
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
8 raw king prawns, cleaned
125ml white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of lemon and a few basil leaves, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180oC fan/200oC/gas mark 6.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for half of the cooking time stated on the packet. Drain well, mix with half of the pesto sauce and set aside.

Spread 4 x foil-lined parchment paper sheets out on your work surface (foil-side down) and drizzle each with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Divide the linguine into 4 portions and place a portion on each sheet, top each with 2 king prawns, followed by the remaining pesto and a little salt and pepper. Drizzle white wine over each portion and a little extra-virgin olive oil. Wrap the parcels well, place on a baking sheet and bake in the hot oven for 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve each parcel on an individual plate with a slice of lemon each and a few basil leaves to garnish.


Extracted from Gennaro’s Pasta Perfecto! by Gennaro Contaldo (Pavilion Books, approx €21). Photograph by David Loftus.



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