Palm heart fettucine with coral butter and glazed prawns, by Alex Atala

22 January 2010
Palm heart fettucine with coral butter and glazed prawns, by Alex Atala

This recipe for palm heart fettucine was devised by Brazilian chef Alex Atala, who has become a culinary superstar since opening his DOM restaurant in Sao Paulo 10 years ago.

(Serves four)

For the coral butter

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 500g prawn heads
  • 300ml water
  • 400g creamy butter

For the fettuccine

  • 1.3kg palm hearts, cut into fettuccine
  • 12 large prawns with the tail, cleaned
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Fry the minced garlic with the olive oil in a big frying pan and add the prawn heads. Stir the heads until they release their coral (which adds colouring and flavour to the butter). Continue this process for 5 minutes.

Transfer the heads to a deeper pan and deglaze the frying pan well with some of the water. Add this to the deeper pan, then add the rest of the water to the deeper pan and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid. Once cold, beat into the creamy butter. Mix until smooth.

Peel the bark around the palm heart and slice with a Japanese mandolin to make long strips like fettuccine. The thickness must be around 1mm.

Drop the fettuccine into a pan of boiling salted water. Cook for about a minute until it is tender.

Melt the coral butter in a frying pan. Add the blanched fettuccine and season. Stir the hot pan in circular movements until the sauce thickens quickly and reaches a nape texture.

Season the prawns with salt and pepper and sear them in a very hot frying pan until they are bronzed. The centre must remain uncooked. Glaze the prawns and serve.

See also Atala's recipe for Lemon banana ravioli with priprioca caramel >>

Read the full article containing these recipes, Alex Atala - the Amazon explorer >>

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