Grilled Prawns wrapped in Pancetta
with Spicy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
Everyone loves these tasty crustaceans. They can be grilled outdoors or broiled in the oven – either way their smoky, salty, spicy flavors are always a hit. Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs provides a dazzling accompaniment to these salty, spicy flavors with bright strawberry fruit and a lush palate.
Yield: 24 pieces
24 Medium or large raw prawns – frozen is fine, but don’t buy pre-cooked prawns
24 Strips thinly-sliced pancetta or bacon – applewood, maple, or other premium preparations are best
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 T garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
3/4 c sun-dried tomatoes – look for the soft kind packed in olive oil
1/4 tsp Tabasco – more if you like red hot, less if you want a mild sauce
2 T vinegar
1 T fresh basil – you can substitute parsley if basil is out of season
Salt to taste
- Peel and devein prawns making sure not to pull off their tails. Keep refrigerated.
- Separate pancetta or bacon into separate strips about 5” in length. Large or thick pieces can be trimmed smaller or pounded thinner.
- Starting with the head, wind the pancetta strip around the prawn. Press the end of the strip into the last turn of the bacon and it will stick to itself. Refrigerate until ready for cooking.
- Prepare the sauce ingredients by finely chopping the onion and garlic. Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and pull the basil leaves from their stems.
- Begin cooking the sauce by sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil until just translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, Tabasco and vinegar. Cook for one minute, add basil leaves, and remove from heat. Cool briefly. Mix ingredients in a blender or food processor. Taste for salt and adjust. (Some sun-dried tomatoes are very salty, some are not.)
- Refrigerate if using later, bring to room temperature when ready to use.
Prawns can be arranged individually on a baking sheet for the oven, or strung on skewers for the outdoor grill.
- Preheat broiler or adjust outdoor grill to proper heat.
- Broil/grill wrapped prawns on both sides until bacon is brown and crisped and prawns just cooked through. Do not overcook or prawns will be tough and dry!
- Arrange on platter for service. Either drizzle the prawns with sauce or serve the sauce in a cup for dipping.
Leave the tails on the shrimp so there’s no need for toothpicks to pick them up.