Lynn Crawford's Tuscan Prawns with Tomato Bean Ragout

We used large shrimp for this dish - 20 to 25 per pound (500 grams). The sauce is excellent with pasta, too.


  • 8 large prawns
  • 8 thin slices pancetta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup butter 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 12 ounces (375 grams) chopped canned tomatoes
  • 12 ounces (375 grams) cooked or canned cannellini beans
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Remove the tail shells of prawns and devein, leaving the body shell intact. Wrap a slice of pancetta around each section of tail meat.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter to a hot skillet; add prawns and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until pink and curled. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Return pan to medium-high heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, shallots, garlic, chopped tomatoes, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and white wine. Reduce liquid by half. Add chicken stock and sage and cook for about 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and spinach to pan and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon bean ragout into a bowl and top with 2 pancetta-wrapped prawns. Squeeze lemon juice over prawns and top with chopped parsley. Serves 4 as a main, 6 to 8 as a first course.