Roasted Moreton Bay Bugs with Linguine & Tomatoes

This is summer entertaining for me. A simple recipe with beautiful ingredients that can be eaten while sitting outside on a balmy night, with a bowl in my lap and a cold glass of pinot gris close by. I would recommend if you are eating alfresco, that you take the bug meat out of the half shell before serving just to make eating it a little easier. This recipe is so yummy and is my favourite way of eating this deliciously sweet crustacean.  If you can’t find Moreton bay bugs, raw prawns in the shell are a good substitute.


What you’ll need:

6 raw Moreton bay bugs, split in half lengthways
60g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
400g cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup cream
micro basil, to serve
400g linguine pasta
olive oil, for drizzling
sea salt & black pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place bugs onto a roasting tray, cut-side up, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil then roast on the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes, until lightly caramelised and cooked through. (You will know if the bug is cooked if the meat easily pulls away from the shell and is opaque). Remove the meat from 8 halves and cut into chunks.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.

Heat butter in a large frypan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until foamy. Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes until tomatoes begin to soften but still hold their shape. Add wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes until almost completely evaporated. Add cream and bug meat and bring to a simmer to heat through.

Reserve ⅓ cup of pasta water, then drain linguine and add to tomatoes with reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Divide linguine between 4 bowls and sit 1 roasted bug halve on top. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with micro basil.

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