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If you love prawns and lemon, you’re bound to fall in love with this lemon prawn pasta with za’atar that blends herbal and tangy hints for the perfect dinner. This prawn pasta recipe is easy to make, has lots of lemon and garlic, and the za’atar ties the flavours together beautifully.

My love of pasta dishes that are ready in 30 minutes is unshakable. I absolutely adore a bowl of Carbonara di Mare, and I’ve been cooking this Creamy Lemon Salmon and Dill Pasta way too much over the past months.

This lemon prawn pasta with za’atar has quickly become a favourite of mine, not just because it’s ready in no time, but also because the za’atar, lemon, and garlic combination is to die for.

Admittedly, this is not a pasta recipe to try if you’re watching what you eat. It’s an indulgent treat where the pasta is smothered in a butter sauce, but we all need a delicious bowl of comfort once in a while.

So my advice is to completely disregard the calorie count and enjoy this prawn lemon pasta with a glass of dry white wine for date night or just because.

What is za’atar and why does it work in this pasta?

Za’atar is a herb blend of Middle Eastern inspiration, and it typically features wild thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, marjoram, and oregano.

The herbs may vary depending on where the za’atar is produced, but the sumac and sesame seeds are pretty much non-negotiable and you’ll see them in every type of za’atar out there.

You can find za’atar in the spices aisle of most supermarkets, or you can make your own.

Za’atar pairs perfectly with prawns and it’s often used to make grilled shrimp. I don’t grill the prawns for this za’atar pasta, but shallow fry them in a mix of olive and butter with garlic and then toss them in lemon juice and za’atar.

The result is a symphony of flavours in your mouth. The za’atar has herby and earthy notes, which pair perfectly with the tanginess of the lemon and the garlic.

How do you make the pasta?

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package and reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and melt 1/3 of the butter in it.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and fry it for a minute. Add the prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are done, but not too dry.
  4. Add half of the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Don’t allow the lemon juice to evaporate completely.
  5. Add the za’atar and toss the prawns until they’re all covered in it. Cook for another minute, stirring often, and then mix in the baby spinach. Add the rest of the butter and continue to cook until it melts and the spinach wilts.
  6. Pour half of the pasta water in and then add the drained pasta to the pan. Toss it well until it’s well-covered in sauce, adding some extra pasta water if needed. Stir in the chopped parsley, reserving some for serving.
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with extra chopped parsley on top, if you like.

Recipe tips for the perfect lemon prawn pasta with za’atar

  • You can use fresh or frozen prawns for this recipe. If you use the frozen type, thaw them for a couple of hours or overnight and drain the liquid so they don’t leave too much water in the pan.
  • If you want the pasta to be even creamier, substitute the second half of the butter with double cream.
  • Feel free to add more spinach if you like it, or eliminate it altogether.
  • I recommend linguine for this recipe, but any other type of long pasta would work, too.

If you liked this lemon prawn pasta with za’atar recipe, you might also like some of my other pasta recipes:

Tagliatelle ai Funghi (Pasta with Mushrooms)

Easiest Ever Creamy Prawn Linguine (Linguine con Gamberi)

Carbonara di Mare (Seafood Carbonara)

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Walnuts

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Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10.5 oz) linguine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) prawns
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

    1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package and reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
    2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and melt 1/3 of the butter in it.
    3. Add the chopped garlic and fry it for a minute. Add the prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are done, but not too dry.
    4. Add half of the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Don’t allow the lemon juice to evaporate completely.
    5. Add the za’atar and toss the prawns until they’re all covered in it. Cook for another minute, stirring often, and then mix in the baby spinach. Add the rest of the butter and continue to cook until it melts and the spinach wilts.
    6. Pour half of the pasta water in and then add the drained pasta to the pan. Toss it well until it’s well-covered in sauce, adding some extra pasta water if needed. Stir in the chopped parsley, reserving some for serving.
    7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with extra chopped parsley on top, if you like.

Nutrition Information

 

Yield

4

Serving Size

1
Amount Per Serving Calories 510Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 291mgSodium 1337mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 31g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

 

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