Prawn, Caper and Tomato Linguini

Perfect for a mid-week dinner, impressive yet simple, from MasterChef Ireland 2011 winner Mary Carney


  • 2 tins of italian tomatoes
  • 1 dessert spoon of tomato puree
  • 1/2 glass of wine
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 3 dessert spoons of good quality fine capers – rinsed
  • 100 ml cream
  • 500 g (7 large prawns per person) of good quality locally sourced prawns (if possible) – shelled and deveined
  • sea salt
  • handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • olive oil
  • sufficient linguini for four people


  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a wide frying pan, large enough to hold two tins of tomatoes.
  2. Fry shallot on a low heat until translucent.
  3. Add tomato puree and fry for a few minutes – this softens the flavour and cooks the tomato. Raw puree is harsh so this is an important step.
  4. Increase the heat and add the wine. Reduce until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Once the liquid has reduced add the tins of tomatoes, a good pinch of sea salt, sugar and capers and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile add the linguini to a pot of boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, place a frying pan on a medium high heat and fry the prawns for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  8. Once prawns are cooked add to sauce, along with cream and stir to combine. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning adding more sugar, salt and pepper as necessary.
  9. Drain the pasta once cooked, pour over sauce and toss until combined.
  10. Divide the pasta between four plates and serve with a sprinkling of chopped chives and parsley.


Mary's tips: You can add more or less cream to this dish depending on how rich you would like the sauce. I try to keep the cream content at a minimum to make it healthier. Sugar is the hidden ingredient in so many tomato dishes. Be careful not to add too much but a little really does enhance the natural sweetness and flavour of the tomatoes. 


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