Green Tomato Fettuccine
With Bacon & Prawns
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Don’t get me wrong – a juicy, ripe, red tomato is a thing of glory. But don’t sell green tomatoes short! They have a flavour all their own, and they cook up fantastically. It’s funny really, we get so used to a food that we eat all the time, we forget that there might be other ways to go about it. In fact, in much of Asia, tomatoes are preferred when they’re in that just-barely-red phase, still tinged by green. On top of that, the growing popularity of heirloom varieties has done a lot to show people that there’s a lot more to life than the anemic mid-winter mealy globes that have passed for tomatoes all these years.
This simple pasta dish lets the bright, acidic flavour of the green tomatoes shine through against the contrasting umami-richness of the bacon, prawns, and cheese. It’s already a fairly healthy dish (for pasta, bacon, and cheese anyway), but you could always try a good turkey bacon if you wanted to reduce the fat further.
Inspired by this recipe from Jolene George at the Oregonian.
There’s nothing too complicated going on here – the whole thing comes together in a snap.
While I wrote fettuccine in the ingredient list, the pasta I used here is fettucce, which is a broad form of fettuccine. But nobody (including spellcheck) seems to know what fettucce is, and I didn’t want everyone thinking it was a typo. But hey, if you can find it, it’s a nice change. You can use any long pasta that you like; linguine or bucatini would be lovely.
As for the tomatoes, these are green UNRIPE tomatoes. I’m making the distinction because (at least where I live) green heirloom tomato varieties are becoming more and more common. While these tomatoes are amazing, beautiful, and delicious, they’re not what you’re looking for here. The idea with using unripe tomatoes is to showcase their somewhat acidic, grassy flavour against the rich bacon and cheese.
Grana padano cheese is my go-to here, but a good parmigiano-reggiano is lovely too. You could experiment with other aged, hard, glutamate-rich cheeses as well.
No Ingredient Pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
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When life gives you green tomatoes, make pasta. That's the expression, right? Well if this amazing recipe is any indication, it should be!
- 200 g prawns (~10 16/20 count)
- 200 g bacon
- 1/2 white onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup white wine (dry)
- 1 1/2 cups green tomatoes diced
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed chilies
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- olive oil (high quality)
- grana padano (or parmesan)
- black pepper (freshly ground)
- 300 g fettuccine (or linguine)
Peel and devein the shrimp, cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While cooking the sauce, prepare the pasta as instructed on the packaging.
Dice the bacon into ½ cm pieces. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until translucent but not browned, about 1-1.5 minutes. Be careful to avoid burning.
Add the white wine, oregano, crushed chilies, and the tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the shrimp and simmer over medium heat until pink and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
Remove the sauce from heat and stir in a generous pour of olive oil (a ‘grassy’ or greener tasting olive oil works beautifully).
Serve the sauce over a bed of pasta, garnished with fresh pepper and a good quantity of grated grana padano or parmesan. If you like a bit more heat, feel free to add some more crushed chilies.