Pasta with yabbies in a cream sauce

Yabbies are a kind of freswater prawn, they have a local name of djuligies – the spelling of which I’m not sure. They’re also known as kunacks, and in some European cookbooks as crayfish which is a clawless lobster here and known as ise-ebi in Japan and don’t the Americans call these rock lobsters and the British have no word for them. Anyway we’ve got yabbies on our farm and catching them is just a matter of chucking in a a trap and coming back the next day and chucking out the small ones. We kept 50 out of a catch of 200 or so.

Killing and Cleaning – the painless way.

1. Place them in a freezer in a bag. They will then drift off into a deep sleep so I’m told. Once they are sleeping deeply – twist their tails off and chuck away the heads. The heads, I believe, then go on to a more euphemistic kind of rest.

2. The tail has three “flippers” at the end, grab the middle one, twist it and then yank out the pooh tube.

3. Peeling is tricky raw so quickly blanch in some boiling water.

The advantge of this method is the meat’s taste stays cleaner, if you boil them whole, the head imparts a much muddier taste. The traditional method is simply to boil in salted water, peel and eat.

This is a marginally adapted recipe from Gourmet Traveller quite a few years back so has the temporal signiature of sun-dried tomatoes.

Chopped one or two scallions and a clove of garlic.

Sauted gently for a minute in the oil of the sundried tomatoes which I had also just chopped up two tablespoons of.

Added the sundried tomatoes, sauteed for a minute, I then added the peeled yabbie tails and stirred quickly. I left them in but you could yank them out and return them later.

Added one cup of chicken stock and half a cup of white wine, Brought to boil and reduced slightly.

I then added a cup or so of cream and a squeeze of lemon and reduce a little further. Added some pepper and then half a cup of parmesan and served over fettucine.