When you make this dish, you follow a historical trend of using native ingredients, but also keep the recipe fresh by using lardo to create an inventive, new dish. Lardo is the Italian name for pork back fat that has been cured with salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs, and then cured for at least six months in marble basins, because they have the perfect porosity.
The aging occurs naturally in the Tuscan village of Colonnata in warm caves that, along with solid mountain wind, make it the ideal microclimate for aging lard this ancient way. At one time lard was a poor man’s food, referred to as “anarchist chow”, because of the Partisans who fled into the mountains, with their pigs after the 1849 Italian uprising against the Austrians, and survived solely on the pork fat they conserved in salt.
In this dish, the lard protects the prawns, sealing them to keep the shrimp moist. The sweetness of the pea and lime puree is the perfect bed for the earthy taste of the lardo-wrapped prawns.
8 large prawns
8 slices of lardo
200g frozen peas
1 red chili
Salt and pepper
- Clean and de-vein your Prawns. Wrap your prawns in lard and set aside in the fridge.Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pea’s until soft. Zest your lime and add too the peas, then pure and pass through a fine sieve, too create a smooth pea and lime coulis, season with salt and pepper.
- Place a non stick pan on high heat and cook your prawns until golden in colour, about a minute on each side. The lardo will keep the prawn moist and tender.
- Place your pea and lime pure on a plate, 2 prawns each person and finely slice your red chili to give a little heat and warmth to the dish and serve.