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Smoky Prawn & Chickpea Stew FiveDinners

Smoky Prawn & Chickpea Ragu – from my book Rustica

A bonus recipe from my book Rustica

This spicy, Spanish-style stew is deliciously warming and comforting. Seasoned with Spanish pimento, the rich tomato sauce envelopes the juicy king prawns/jumbo shrimp and chickpeas. In winter store-cupboard staples like pulses/legumes are used alongside fresh seafood and this surf ‘n’ turf dish would be typical of dishes cooked on the Southern coast. Serve with plenty of crusty bread for dunking.


a splash of olive oil, for shallow frying

½ large white onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 fresh red chilli/chile, deseeded and finely chopped

a pinch of chilli/hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon pimenton dulche (sweet)

1 tablespoon tomato purée/paste

¼ tsp brown sugar

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

350 ml passata (Italian sieved/strained tomatoes)

12 raw large king prawns/jumbo shrimp, shelled but with heads on

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

To Serve

60 ml/1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

A small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Crusty bread (optional)


Add a splash of olive oil to a large, deep frying pan and set over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry/sauté for a few minutes until soft and golden.  Add the garlic, fresh chilli/chile and chilli/hot red pepper flakes and cook for 1 further minute.

Stir in the cumin, pimento tomato purée/paste and sugar, quickly followed by the chickpeas. Stir in the chickpeas and then pour in the passata along with a splash of cold water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, over a low heat for 15 minutes.

Put the prawns/shrimp into the pan, pushing them down slightly into the liquid. Cook for about 4 minutes before turning them over to continue cooking for another 2 minutes or so, until pink and cooked through.

Spoon the stew into dishes. Whisk together the yogurt and lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of cold water and swirl a little over each serving. Add a sprinkle of chopped flat-leaf parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread, if you fancy.


Rustica (RRP £16.99) by Theo Michaels. Published by Ryland Peters & Small, photography by Mowie Kay.

Order your copy of Rustica here.

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