Gamberi Rustici: king prawns, traditional Italian style

The salty smell of shellfish mixes wonderfully with the scent of fried garlic and fresh herbs. And it’s even more wonderful when this happens in your kitchen.

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serves 4

  • 20 - 25 raw king prawns with shell, without head
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 can ORO di Parma chopped tomatoes (425 ml)
  • 1 handful rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • “Extra vergine” olive oil for frying
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper from the mill

Tomato sauce and lemon make the seafood even fruitier. Prawns cooked rustic style - simply delicious.


Skin the onions and garlic, finely chop the onions, and cut the garlic into thin slices. Wash and pluck the herbs, leaving a small amount of rosemary on the stalk to garnish your dish later on. Do the same with one lemon, which you can now cut into quarters. Simply squeeze the juice out of the other two lemons. Wash and pat dry the prawns. (If using deep-frozen prawns, plan 1-2 hours thawing time.)

The Gamberi

Their light pink flesh and unmistakable taste make king prawns a special delicacy throughout the Mediterranean region. Gamberi (singular: “gambero”) have been used in Italian cooking for centuries. Traditionally, they are prepared in the shell, so that their flesh stays so juicy. To prepare Gamberi Rustici, first heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic. Then add the gamberi. Fry for a few minutes in the garlic oil before quenching with lemon juice. Add salt and pepper. Remove the gamberi from the pan and keep them warm in the oven (at the lowest temperature). You will need the pan later for the tomato sauce.

The tomato sauce

Now it's time to make the tomato sauce. Luckily, you still have the pan with the garlic oil (and now with the gamberi aroma). Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they have a glazed appearance. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir in the fresh herbs. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes over a medium heat.

The final

Season your tomato sauce with butter, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper - and place on the plates to serve. Lay on the gamberi and garnish with rosemary and lemon quarters.

Buon appetito!

Products used:

Chopped tomatoes

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