Spicy Tomato and Prawn Pasta

This fresh, summery pasta number is the perfect weeknight dinner. It takes less than 20 minutes to make and it’s packed with flavour.

Fun fact: tomato vines are incredibly flavourful, so don’t discard them! Add them to your sauce and fish them out just before serving.

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 800g good-quality vine cherry tomatoes
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp pul biber (aka aleppo pepper, see Notes for substitutions)
  • 500g raw king prawns
  • handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 400g dried pasta of choice


  1. Pick the cherry tomatoes off the vines. Bash the vines with a rolling pin to release the fragrant oils.
  2. Heat a generous glug of extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot or sauté pan set over a medium heat. Add the garlic and pul biber and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant but not browned, around 1 minute.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes, season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat in the garlicky oil. Add the vines and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to burst, around 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook your pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente then drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
  5. Back to the sauce. Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush half of the tomatoes to help create a sauce, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until a chunky, thickened sauce forms, around 10 minutes.
  6. Remove and discard the vines, then add the prawns and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until the prawns are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the sauce with a ladleful or two of the pasta cooking water. Cook, tossing vigorously, until a sauce forms and the pasta is nicely coated, then plate up and serve.


If you don’t have pul biber, you can substitute it for half the amount of chilli flakes plus a pinch of smoked paprika.

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Nathan Erickson
6 months ago

When do you add the Aleppo? Am I missing it in instructions?

Lucy Conway
6 months ago

Thank you for this recipe. It was surprisingly delicious! When i looked at the limited ingredients, i thought it would not work. But to my pleasant surprise, it was a “wow”!. I guess the moral of the story is never underestimate the power of simplicity. Thank you for such a simple but absolutely delicious recipe.