Drenched and tired, we finally decided to take shelter in a modest looking restaurant. There it was, I tasted one of the best conchiglie (shell pasta) in my life. The sauce made with prawn roe was so rich, silky and luscious, deeply infused with freshness…
1. Using kitchen scissors to cut off all the prawn’s leg and antennae, and cut the tip of the prawn’s head.
2. Devein all the prawns- make a slit along the middle of the back and then pull out the veins.
3. Peel 4 of the prawns, cut the prawn into bite-size dice. Reserve the heads and 2 whole prawns.
4. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add reserved prawn heads and roe. Sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
5. Add tomato paste; stir for 3 minutes.
6. Stir in tomatoes, wine, garlic.
7. Add cream; boil 2 minutes over low heat.
8. Simmer just until prawn flavor infuses cream, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Pressing on prawn heads to extract as much flavors as possible.
9. Discard all the shells. (The sauce can be prepared in advance. Cover separately and chill.)
10. Heat the pan with medium to high heat. When the pan is about ready, add the 2 whole prawns in the pan. Cook for 2 mins or until the shell changes color. Turn to the other side and cook for 1 min further.
11. Transfer sauce to saucepan. Add in the bite-size pieces of prawn. Gently cook over low heat, stirring occasionally.
12. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
13. Drain; return pasta to pot. Add sauce; toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes.
14. Season with salt and pepper and garnish the dish with the whole prawns on top.