Makes 4 large or 6 small portions
FOR THE PRAWNS
- 32 prawns (medium to large)
- 2 bulbs fennel, finely sliced
- 100g butter
- 7.5ml fennel seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 5ml dried chilli flakes, or to taste
- 45ml tomato sauce
- 400ml fish stock
- 3 ripe tomatoes, soft seedy centres removed
- a handful of Italian parsley, washed, dried and roughly chopped
- 12 Kalamata olives
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, cut in wedges
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 1 garlic clove, crushed with a teaspoon of salt
- zest of 2 lemons
- 2 sprigs oregano
- 6 slices stale sourdough bread
- 45ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Make the pangrattato: Tear the bread into large pieces and wedge them into a food processor. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs. De-seed and finely dice the chilli. Pick the oregano and roughly chop the leaves.
2. Pour the olive oil into a heavy-based pan and stir through the garlic and chilli, taking care that they don’t burn in the heat, then fold through the breadcrumbs. Fry the bread in the pan for 2 minutes, turning the mixture until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden. Add the lemon zest and shredded oregano, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir everything together and tip onto paper towel to drain any excess oil.
3. For the prawns: De-vein the prawns by snipping down the back ridge, leaving the tail intact. At this point, you can peel them altogether or leave them just so, cleaned and de-veined. Cover and leave in the fridge.
4. Place the butter in a thick-based pot with a lid and place over low heat. When the butter foams, add the fennel seeds and cook them for a minute before adding the sliced fennel. Put the lid on and leave the fennel on low heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to caramelise, then add the sliced garlic and chilli flakes to the braised fennel. Simmer the garlic in the buttery fennel and add a splash of water so the fennel steams a little and softens. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and stock and let it all bubble for 5 minutes over high heat.
5. Now add the parsley (reserve a little for garnish), prawns and olives to the fennel broth and stir everything together. Put the lid on and simmer over medium heat for 3–4 minutes and no more – overcooked prawns are a no-no. To finish, drizzle with your best olive oil, Maldon Salt and black pepper, and scatter with the pangrattato crumbs. Garnish with the lemon wedges.