Prawn al Peperoncino

Penne al Peperoncino is one of my favourite meals to date, and definitely a top go-to takeaway of mine. One problem I’ve always experienced (and admittedly sometimes ignored because of the sheer pleasure of enjoying the dish) is all of the dairy within it. I, without fail, have breakouts after a big dairy dish and I’m sometimes even left very sluggish afterward. The dealbreaker with my recreation of this dish was that it had to be entirely dairy-free… and I succeeded. This is an absolutely amazing recreation, full of taste, satiation but with lesser guilt. I love prawns, but you can also substitute them for chicken pieces, paneer cheese, Quorn pieces or baked tofu.

This recipe is dairy-free and serves 2.


  • Wholewheat penne rigate, 200 g
  • Prawns, 200 g
  • Tomato passata, 300 g
  • Garlic cloves, 4
  • Olive oil, 1/5 of a cup
  • Chilli flakes, 1 tbsp
  • Cashews, 1 cup soaked in water
  • Spinach, 50 g
  • Oregano, 1 tbsp
  • Thyme, 1 tbsp
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp
  • Honey, 1 tbsp
  • Tabasco sauce, 3 drops (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, 1/2 tbsp


  1. Soak the cashews in a large bowl of water for 1 hour, minimum.
  2. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water as per the cooking instructions.
  3. Peel and chop 4 garlic cloves. Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Sautée for 1 min or until the garlic is golden brown.
  4. Add the cashews into a Nutri Bullet cup or blender, followed by the tomato passata, honey, salt and pepper, chilli flakes, oregano and thyme. Blitz into a smooth sauce.
  5. Add the sauce to the pan, followed by the raw, or cooked shrimp. The raw shrimp will curl into a ‘c’ shape once it is fully cooked and it will also have turned from a grey to a pink colour.
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar, spinach and tabasco sauce to the mixture. Place a lid on the pan and allow the prawns to cook through fully. This takes 15 mins approximately.
  7. Drain the cooked pasta and then mix it into the contents of the pan, just before serving.

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