Prawn Tortelli with Saffron Butter and Prawn Oil from Osteria Ilaria

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With his modern twist on fresh, seasonal Italian food, Osteria Ilaria’s head chef, Jack Ives, shares his Prawn Tortelli with Saffron Butter and Prawn Oil recipe with us.

02 May 2024

Prawn Tortelli with Saffron Butter and Prawn Oil   


Pasta Dough: 

6 large free-range eggs   

600g Tipo 00 flour   

Tortelli Filling: 

175g butter   

175g flour   

100g finely diced shallot   

1 litre quality fish stock   

300g finely chopped peeled prawns (keep shells)   

Juice and zest of 1 lemon    

Saffron Butter: 

3g saffron   

2 large shallots, sliced   

1/2 bulb of garlic, crushed   

100ml white wine   

1/2 bulb fennel, sliced (keep tops)   

700ml fish stock   

250g butter, diced   

Half of the prawn shells   

Juice of half a lemon   

Prawn Oil: 

150ml olive oil   

150ml vegetable oil   

75g tomato paste   

Half of the prawn shells 


To make the pasta dough, place the flour on a workbench and create a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and whisk with a fork. Gradually incorporate the flour using your hands until combined. Knead the mixture for 20 minutes, wrap tightly in clingfilm, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.   

For the tortelli filling, gently sweat the shallot until translucent (about 5 minutes), then add the butter and stir until melted. Add all of the flour and stir for another 5 minutes. Gradually add the fish stock (approx. 150ml at a time), whisking constantly. Once all the stock is added, incorporate the prawns, lemon juice, and zest, stirring for 2 minutes. Season well with salt, then place mixture into a bowl and cool in the fridge.   

For the saffron butter, gently fry the shallot, garlic, fennel, and prawn shells until soft. Add all of the white wine and reduce by half. Add the fish stock and saffron, simmer uncovered for 1 hour to make a stock. Strain, keeping only the liquid, and slowly whisk in the butter until emulsified. Season well.   

For the prawn oil, fry the tomato paste and prawn shells in a small pot for 10 minutes, then add the oil and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Strain and set aside the oil, discarding the shells.   

Using a pasta roller, roll out your pasta dough on a lightly floured surface until it is as thick as a 10-cent coin. Cut circles from the dough with a circle cutter. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of the prawn mixture in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of the circles with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle and press the edges together firmly. Place your finger in the middle of the flat edge of the semi-circle, then wrap the two corners of the pasta around your finger and press tightly to seal. 

To finish, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, gently warm the saffron sauce in a large pan. Drop the tortelli into boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Once cooked, strain and carefully add the pasta to the sauce, tossing gently. Serve in bowls garnished with a few drops of prawn oil and the tops of the fennel. 

Osteria Ilaria 

367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne