Pasta recipes: Laura Santini’s prawn, courgette and balsamico

The sweet courgette and prawns work brilliantly with the last-minute drizzle of a syrupy aged balsamic vinegar or glaze.

prawn courgette and balsamico
Christopher Scholey


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, squashed, peeled and halved lengthways
150g courgette, sliced into 5mm discs
A small handful (about 5g) of mint leaves, finely chopped
125g raw king prawns, peeled
200g dried pasta or 160g fresh pasta
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Thick balsamic vinegar or glaze, to drizzle
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Toss in the garlic and cook, stirring, for a few minutes to flavour the oil. When the garlic begins to colour, add the courgettes and half of the mint and stir fry. When the courgettes begin to soften but are still al dente, add the prawns. Cook until they turn pink, season with salt and pepper then toss until the prawns are cooked but still tender. Remove from the heat.
  2. When the salted water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions. Drain the pasta, but keep a cup of the cooking water.
  3. Tip the pasta into the courgette and prawn mixture, adding a splash of the retained cooking water, the remaining mint, lemon zest and remaining oil. Toss with gusto over a high heat until the pasta is well coated.
  4. Remove the halved garlic cloves and serve immediately with a generous drizzle of balsamic and plenty of extra freshly ground black pepper.

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pasta perfectOur recipes are from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini, which is published by Ryland, Peters & Small, price £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99 until 11 April, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.