Crispy prawns on sweet and sour pumpkin

Crispy prawns on sweet and sour pumpkin

Gamberi croccanti con zucca in saor

Helen Cathcart

This stunning dish was shot at L’Osteria di Santa Marina. We loved the idea of crunchy prawns on sweet and sour pumpkin and the pumpkin purée is really a puréed pumpkin risotto. The kataifi pastry can be ordered online or bought in some Greek shops. It’s fun to use and looks amazing.

For the pumpkin purée


Quantity Ingredient
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
30g butter
400g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
30g arborio or other risotto rice
25ml white wine
200ml Vegetable stock
30g parmesan, finely grated
freshly ground black pepper

For the prawns

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Pumpkin in saor
1 litre sunflower oil, for deep-frying
few sprigs thyme
12 prawns
400g kataifi pastry
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve


  1. Sweat the onions in a large frying pan in the oil and butter over a low heat until soft. Add the pumpkin to the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the rice and wine and stir through for 2 minutes. Add the stock and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently particularly towards the end of the cooking time. When most of the water has disappeared check that the pumpkin and rice are soft, if not add a little more water and continue to cook. It should take around 30–40 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan and purée with a hand-held blender or food processor. Season to taste.
  2. Reheat the pumpkin in saor in a medium saucepan covered with a lid, stirring occasionally.
  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a high-sided pan until it is hot enough to make a breadcrumb sizzle when dropped in. Unroll the pastry and tear away pieces large enough to wind round the prawns. Scatter the thyme leaves on to a plate. Season the prawns and press them into the thyme leaves and wrap each of the prawns in a little of the pastry. Carefully fry in the hot oil for around 1–2 minutes until golden brown and the prawns are cooked through. Remove and drain on some kitchen paper.
  4. Spread a little of the pumpkin purée on to a plate, top with 3 rounds of pumpkins in saor using a ring mould or pastry cutter to shape them. Lay a crisply fried prawn on each. Drizzle with olive oil and serve straight away.
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