Our very own mini prawn festival.

Prawns, Pesto and Fettuccine (13 of 15)Over the weekend, the Wife persuaded me to take her out to Howth (a tedious drive or a glorious cycle around Dublin Bay from our house), to see what was going on at the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival. Being the obliging person that I am, I got behind the wheel. As much as I got behind the wheel, Howth has got behind this festival and there was a great atmosphere out there. The festival tent had a raft of seafood treats on offer.

What else would you expect to see at a prawn festival?

What else would you expect to see at a prawn festival?

The aromas were fantastic. Very hard to resist.

The aromas were fantastic. Very hard to resist.

Look at the size of those!

Look at the size of those!

"They look fantastic", I said. "They taste even better", he said.

“They look fantastic”, I said. “They taste even better”, he said.

We got a cone of calamari and walked around to the pier. We stopped into Doran’s and bought the last sixteen fresh Dublin Bay Prawns.

Dorans, like every other fish shop was very busy.

Dorans, like every other fish shop was very busy.

Home with our prize, I set about preparing some Prawns, Pesto and Pasta

The ingredients shot with youngest daughter cooking in the background.

The ingredients shot with youngest daughter cooking in the background.

The egg and the flour were to make the pasta. You can see how here, if you are interested. For the pesto, I toasted some pine nuts.

 Toasting your nuts gives the pesto an extra level of sophistication.

Toasting your nuts gives the pesto an extra level of sophistication.

Next I blitzed the pine nuts (as many as you see in the pan above), four cloves of garlic and the leaves of one store-bought basil plant along with three tablespoons of olive oil and a big handful of finely grated parmesan.

Really simple and tasty pesto. Well worth the little effort.

Really simple and tasty pesto. Well worth the little effort.

Shelling the prawns is made easier if you put them in the freezer for 20 minutes before taking them on.

Even the freezer treatment does not stop the shells cutting the pinkeys.

Even the freezer treatment does not stop the shells cutting the pinkeys.

After shelling the prawns, put the heads and shells back in the freezer to make prawn stock at a later date. At least, that’s what I did. Devein the prawns and fry them, in some olive oil, on a medium pan until they start to change colour. Add a couple of big dollops of the pesto to the pan. stir to heat and then add the pasta.

The aroma from the pesto and prawns is sensational.

The aroma from the pesto and prawns is sensational.

There is a bit of timing required here. The pasta is at it’s very best when fresh.

Mix the prawns, pesto and pasta to coat everything. Try to avoid stealing any prawns.

Mix the prawns, pesto and pasta to coat everything. Try to avoid stealing any prawns.

When everything is mixed nicely, serve to your appreciative better half / beau / lover / random stranger or whoever happens to be in the kitchen at the time.

Prawns, Pesto and Fettuccine (14 of 15)

Have a good look at this dish. It won’t be around for long.

They will scoff the lot in jig time and then sit back, belch and enjoy the glass of un-oaked chardonnay served to accompany. At least, that’s what I did….

The remains of our mini prawn festival. Thanks Howth.

The remains of our mini prawn festival. Thanks Howth.

The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival was fun and deserves to be an ongoing success. The Dublin Bay Prawn (Langoustine, Norway Lobster or whatever you choose to call it), deserves to be celebrated. This is probably one of the best ways to do it.

 

 

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Latest comments
  • That looks good. The festival and the pasta!

    • Thank you. Both were excellent and I would gladly visit one and cook the other any time I can.

  • Oh, that takes me back. I used to love the fishmonger in Howth. I remember a friend coming to stay when I lived in Dublin and when I got back from work he’d bought Dublin Bay prawns from another good fishmonger in town and cooked them for supper. The perfect guest. Love the idea of mixing them up with pesto and pasta. Delicious.

    • Thanks Linda, It was difficult to avoid getting caught up in the festival atmosphere and prawns specifically. I’d welcome a guest like that any time.

  • Food events are always great fun and thinking that this is in Dublin makes it even better. Cool recipe, it looks really tasty. I’ve been wanting to make something with prawns so thanks for the idea!

    • It was a very simple, tasty supper and really easy to prepare (bar the pasta, with which I always struggle.).

  • The delicate and flavorful prawns had to be such a treat with your homemade pasta and pesto…delicious I’m sure.

    • Thanks Karen, The only problem was I did not make enough. They were very moreish.

  • Thanks, that’s dinner tomorrow night sorted. And I’ll be making my own (gluten free) pasta… Good job I’ve got a giant basil plant in the garden.

    • Nothing to beat the flavour of fresh basil in a pesto. Don’t skimp on it.

  • Oh my gosh. How big were those paella pans?! Your pasta with pesto and prawns (that’s a lot of p’s) looks absolutely delicious. It’s awesome that you took the festival home for a mini version!

    • Thanks Laura, I was pretty impressed with the size of the pans too. A lot of stirring required. The mini festival was fun too.

  • Looks delish!

  • OMG what an awesome day. I would LOVE to go to a festival like this. Those giant paellas are stunning. I love the pine nut and basil pesto you made. This is my kind of eating!

    • Thanks Amanda. Those paella pans are big enough to lie down in. That was a real temptation.

  • Great festival – I bet they tasted good 🙂

    • Hi MD, they sure did. The festival was great fun. I think the concept of a prawn festival is fantastic.

  • This looks great, Conor. Fresh langoustines, homemade pesto, homade fresh pasta. Lovely. Great pouring shots as well!

    • Thanks Stefan, it didn’t stay poured for long. Such tasty food made with all fresh ingredients didn’t last long on the plate.

      • I can imagine. Our langoustines are mostly all exported, so although they are brought to land quite close they are hard to get. Have you ever tried them as tartare? Lovely!

        • No. That would be a brave move. Mind you, the ones featured were still moving when we bought them.

          • If they are that fresh, it is perfectly safe. Try it with green apple (one of my signature dishes as shown in the header). The texture is amazing.

  • Lovely, scrumptious pasta.

    • Thanks Rosemary. A simple dish full of flavour. The way I like it!

  • I was about to ‘complain’: ‘But these are not prawns’ when you explained the difference 🙂 ! Beautiful critters, great recipe – will be almost as good with what we call ‘prawns’ also – tiger ones methinks for me!! Actually, loving most things ‘tartare’, Stefan’s idea has merit – next time I get them still almost mobile!!!!!!

  • Looks absolutely fantastic – as usual! If only I could get my husband to eat prawns! But then I could tell him to fend for himself one evening…hmmm…Be well and lovely dish Conor!

    • Thanks Barb. The less he eats, the more for me…

  • You best get up and on the road earlier next time for the prawn fest! The last 16??? Oh my… But it looked like a fabulous time and good eats, for sure.

  • That blitzer should have been called the “bofinett”. The pasta looks damn fine my friend, damn fine…

  • Now, that’s my kind of festival! I need to move to a coast, any coast. I’m not picky.
    You really cooked up a great dish of pasta, Conor. You did those prawns proud.

    • Thanks John,
      We are lucky where we live. The benefits of fresh fish are well known. The advantage of a great supply is often taken for granted.

  • A perfectly plated pasta dish. Such a simple recipe, yet so elegant with the prawns. What a lovely festival Conor.

  • Very jealous of that festival. Seeing as I live a stones throw from a busy fishing port, I suddenly realise it’ a travesty we haven’t had the same/similar. One of my favourite pasta dishes there too Conor, beautifully done.

    • Thanks Phil. I am minded to get out there more often with the camera to get some decent photos of the working, fish landing and so on. It could be fun.

  • Now that is a veritable prawn, feast-i-val! Wow, when they say a true chef cooks with a lot of love, I know the guy standing over a giant paella pan means business. Love the look of that delicate pasta and prawn dish. It’s definitely one of my favourite varietals of seafood to enjoy (in so many different cuisines.) Delicious as always Connor!

    • Thanks Alice. When they are fresh, they are really delicious. These were first rate, if I say so myself.

  • Wishing I could have been a this festival, how delicious it must have been!

  • Looks faulous! But Connor, “toasting your nuts makes you more sophisticated?” 🙂

  • Gonna do that pesto when I do a blender demo looks fab! 😉

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