Prawn, Gin & Lemon Thyme Linguine




Are you like me and every time you go through Duty Free at the Airport you buy a 1 litre bottle of Gin or Vodka or some other spirit that you hardly drink?  I am a mainly Beer and Wine drinker so after these little jaunts through customs I have an abundance of spirits that I don’t know what to do with.  I can’t possibly drink it all…..the liver is evil I know and must be punished but I don’t think it is evil enough to be punishable by death!  So,  I decided I would use some in a pasta.  A little odd I know but the result was a silky, fragrant, not too rich sauce that was to absolutely die for….just not by liver failure!


Prep time:  15 Minutes       Cooking time:   15 Minutes             $$ Low to Medium Budget


Serves 4


Extra virgin olive oil

500gm packet of linguine

400gm of green prawn meat

1 brown onion, halved and finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely crushed

12 sprigs of lemon thyme, leaves removed

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup of gin (I used Bombay Sapphire but any will do)

200ml of thin cream

100gm of baby spinach

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Finely grated parmesan

Extra lemon thyme sprigs and lemon wedges to serve


Cook the linguine in a large pot of salted boiling water for approximately 8 minutes or until al dente`.


Heat a large, heavy based pan, add a little olive oil and lightly fry the onion until soft.  Add the garlic, lemon thyme leaves and lemon zest and fry for a further 60 seconds or until aromatic.


Pour in the gin  and lemon juice and allow the liquid to reduce by at least half.  You want to make sure you cook the alcohol out of the gin, just in case you have to drive anywhere!  Once reduced pour in the cream, stir well to combine and reduce the heat to a really low simmer.  If the sauce starts to look a little thick, add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to thin it out.  Season the sauce well and have a little taste.


Pop the prawns and baby spinach in the pan and put a lid on for around 3-5 minutes or until the prawns have just started to change colour and the spinach has wilted.  Drain the pasta and put it in the frypan, toss with some tongs to combine and make sure that all the linguine is covered in the sauce.


Divide among four serving bowls, being a really good sharer with the prawns.  Top with a smattering of finely grated fresh parmesan, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the reserved lemon thyme sprigs and serve with the lemon wedges.  Divine!


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  1. Deanne says

    Hi Em, haven’t tried this yet but I can’t wait to!! My husband and I have a sheep and Marron farm and I am going to try it with Marron!! (Annoyed that I’m going away this weekend so I have to wait till Monday to try it!!)

  2. Michele says

    I just love your thinking. Just reading the recipes you put up makes me salivate!! I am going to do this for lunch today.

  3. says

    I always have difficulty sticking to a recipe! So although a enjoyed the flavour very much, I found it lacked seasoning. I added a tsp of chicken stock powder to the sauce and increased the lemon juice to 1/3c. It is difficult to gauge how big one lemon should be. I was also unable to get baby spinach today, so I used ordinary spinach very finely sliced.My other thought was that a handful of Parmesan could have been added to the sauce. I also added a pinch of tarragon :-))) Just can’t leave a recipe alone – apologies!

    I have a guesthouse in Pietermaritzburg and served this to a guest this evening and was told that it was the best Monday night supper he has had for years!

    • Em says

      Hi Michele, thanks for the feedback. All the recipes can be tweaked to your own tastes, that’s what cooking is all about! I didn’t add parmesan to the sauce as I didn’t want to overpower the flavour of the gin. Seasoning is also a matter of personal taste….So glad your guest enjoyed it!

      Cheers Em

  4. Kate says

    Hi Em …
    I made this recipe for my neighbours the other night …it was delicious … I added in some more veges …. asparagus, mushroom and capsicum…. Yum! Like you I have a cupboard full of duty free gin… What a fabulous way to use it … Thank you for sharing your recipes … I hope you are planning to bring out a cookbook soon …
    Thanks again

    • Em says

      Thanks for the comment Kate! I loved this dish too, really fragrant and not too heavy. I would love to bring out a book one day! Cheers Em

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