Ham-wrapped king prawns skewers with polenta

Ham-wrapped king prawns skewers with polenta

By 20/12/2015

So how are your Christmas preparations going? What's your festive menu going to be this year? I'd love to hear what everyone is preparing for the big day.

Like every year, for everyone's peace, I must "adhere" to English tradition when it comes to Christmas lunch, so turkey with all the trimmings is on the agenda. My "big" day comes after Christmas (known in Italy as Santo Stefano) when we usually have an Italian style meal and I can let my creativity run loose.

"Mamma voglio cappesante!" "Mum I want scallops!" I get this almost every week. I know this isn't something you can and would want to eat too often, but from time to time this is our special family treat; whether it is crab, mussels or langoustines it doesn't matter. If they are fresh they are going to be fabulous regardless the way you prepare them. What I love about shellfish is that you can taste the sea in it.

So you might have guessed what I am going to cook for Santo Stefano.

Over the next few days I am going to share some of my favourite shellfish recipes which would be quite good for entertaining for these coming festivities.

For these king prawns with polenta on skewers I have used some ordinary slow cook polenta I had in the cupboard which needed using up but I would suggest using quick cook polenta for this recipe to save time. It will work well to make these quick and tasty nibbles.

After cooking the polenta let it cool down on a flat surface then cut out some festive shapes: stars, Christmas trees... whatever inspires you. Wrap the prawns with ham or bacon and cook them in a pan for a few minutes with the polenta. Pierce them onto skewers and enjoy!


  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 12 minutes



Prepare the polenta by bringing the water to the boil. When it is boiling add salt and the polenta flour, cook for about 8 minutes or according to packet instructions.

When it is cooked pour it onto a flat surface covered with parchment paper and level it well. Let it cool down.


Clean your prawns: remove the heads and the outer shell but leave the tail on. De-vein the prawns by either using a knife to make a slight cut on the upper part of the flesh or just scrape the flesh lightly and pull off the black filament.

Preparing prawns

Chop finely the rosemary and the garlic clove and add 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it with the prawns and let them rest for 20 minutes.

prawns, rosemary and garlic

Wrap each prawn with a slice of parma ham

wrapping prawns in parma ham

Using a pastry cutter cut out 8 shapes of polenta: stars, Christmas trees, raindeer or any shape you like. Heat up 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and cook the prawns and the polenta for about one minute each side then prick them onto 4 skewers alternating the prawns with the polenta shapes.

King prawns in ham

King prawns with ham on skewers

For party food ideas take a look at my polenta cheese and mushroom nibbles  and my rustic polenta canapes.

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6 Responses to Ham-wrapped king prawns skewers with polenta

  1. All That I'm Eating

    How festive are these! But they’re so different too, what a fun recipe.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    A perfect holiday appetizer, Alida. They are so beautifully done and delicious.

    • Alida

      Thanks Angie!

  3. la cucina di Molly

    Che bontà, li adoro, mi piace la tua presentazione con la polenta! Ottima idea per il pranzo di Natale! Un abbraccio!

    • Alida

      Why not? I would love to invite you for lunch over a good glass of wine 🙂

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