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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gamberi alla Parmigiana

I'm sure you have all had Veal Parmigiana, and I'm sure most of you have had Chicken Parmigiana - but have you ever had Gamberi alla Parmigiana??

I had never even thought to do do prawns this way until I received my first birthday present this last week (yes my birthday is approaching - but more on that another time!!)   My dear friend Madame T gave me a lovely cookbook by Nico Moretti.  Nico is a "Celebrity Chef" from Perth who embraces the Thermomix.  While the recipes are not written specifically for the Thermomix - there is a section in the back that tells you where you can utilise it for particular recipes.

I actually found it strange that there was no adaption for this recipe - I guess the applications for this recipe were so second nature that he didn't even think to include them.  I mean we all know how to make breadcrumbs and chop parsley and garlic don't we? Of course we do, but it takes mere seconds in the Thermomix - and even the hardest, most crustiest sourdough is not match for Thermie!!

The blurb on this recipe tells us how this dish is his father's signature dish at the restaurant he owns.  He goes on to say that "Every time I make this dish I end up wishing I'd made a larger portion - they're dangerously moreish."  I took this statement as a warning, and paid no attention to the the quantity of prawns that he stated for the recipe - 3 to 4 prawns per serve!!!  Seriously, that is not going to satisfy the seafood lovers in this house!  Here is my version!

Gamberi all Parmigiana
Adapted from Cooking Passions : Food for Friends by Nico Moretti

Serves ...???? you decide how many you want

1.2 kg green prawns (this yielded approximately 56 prawns) *
4 +/- cups fresh breadcrumbs **
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
mozzarella cheese slices
good quality comercial tomato pasta sauce ***
canola oil for frying

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

Peel prawns, and with a small sharp knife gently cut down the back of the prawn, gently flattening as you cut.  You want a nice flat piece of prawn meat.

Place the bread in the TM bowl process for 8 seconds on speed 8.  Remove from TM bowl, place into a large bowl.

Place the parsley and garlic in the TM bowl process for 3 seconds on speed 7.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper, garlic and parsley.

Place some flour on a large plate.

Now comes the process line thing.  You need to dust the prawns in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, then crumb in the breadcrumbs.  I used one hand to dust with the flour, then dip in the egg - then use the other hand to do the crumbing - this way hopefully you won't end up in too much of a breadcrumb caked mess!!!  Be careful though, your hand will sometimes take on a mind of it's own and want to do both jobs!! Don't let it!!

Have a large tray lined with foil, and lay the crumbed prawns out in a single layer on the tray.  When the tray is full place another piece of foil on top and start another layer.

Once all the prawns are crumbed it's time to start frying.

Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium high heat.  Cook the prawns in batches until golden brown.  This will only take a couple of minutes.  Drain the prawns on paper towels.

Warm the pasta sauce and set aside.

Place the prawns on either a serving plate that can go in the oven, or on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper.

Cover the prawns with the mozzarella slices.  Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has just melted.  Top the prawns with the warmed pasta sauce and serve immediately.

Serve with a salad on the side.  This is a great dish - you will definitely want more than 3 or 4 prawns each!!!

** I used sourdough bread to make my breadcrumbs
*** I used Sacla Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

The number of prawns that I crumbed far exceeded the amount that I needed for this dish - Nico says in his class notes on this recipe that you can crumb the uncooked prawns the day before and refrigerate, or as he often does, freeze them overnight on a flat tray.  Once frozen, store the prawns in a conventional freezer bag.  Then when ready to use, shallow fry them from frozen (do not defrost) as required. 

I now have a approximately 18 crumbed prawns in the the freezer - ready for next time!!  Thanks Nico - a) for warning me to make more than the 24 prawns you recommend for the recipe, and b) for telling me how to be prepared for the next sitting of this dish!!!

So Dear Readers tell me, do you automatically up the amount of meat/prawns/chicken stated in a recipe knowing that there is not sufficient for the average mortal's appetite stated in most recipes - or are we just little piggies here??


  1. I haven't tried the prawn version but it sounds gorgeous! I don't upp the protein portion but I should! :D

  2. I would have never have thought to use prawns in a parmigiana. It looks great though. I always make sure I use enough protein to make 4 portions, so we can have leftovers for lunch the next day.

  3. This looks really delicious, it does sound odd but looks amazing. P.s I roasted some rhubarb last night and made some vanilla custard to have with it, heavenly! Thanks for the tip :)