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Cactus Club’s Spaghetti Portofino (Copycat Recipe!)

5 Mins read

Today, we’re diving into the world of Spaghettini Portofino, a delightful Italian dish that embodies the spirit of the Mediterranean. With its vibrant flavors, succulent prawns, and roasted tomatoes, this recipe will transport you straight to the picturesque coastal town of Portofino.

But here’s the twist: we’re putting our own spin on it! We’ll be showing you which steps you can personalize or skip altogether, allowing you to create a unique version of this delectable pasta dish. So, put on your apron, grab your ingredients, and let’s get started on this peppy and upbeat journey to Spaghettini Portofino!


How To Make This Spaghetti Portofino Recipe

Step 1: Roasting Magic First things first, let’s kick off our flavor-packed adventure by roasting an abundance of cherry tomatoes. These little gems will bring bursts of sweet and tangy goodness to our dish. Simply toss them with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes. The aroma that will fill your kitchen is simply irresistible!

Step 2: Personalize Your Prawn Power Next up, let’s talk about the star of our show – the prawns! These succulent creatures are a true delicacy, and it’s time to infuse them with our personal touch. Season them with a pinch of salt, pepper, and minced garlic, and then let your creativity run wild. Sauté them until they turn pink and curl up, releasing their tantalizing aroma. Customize the seasoning to match your taste preferences, adding a dash of your favorite spices or a hint of lemon zest for that extra zing.

Step 3: Breadcrumb Bonanza (Optional) Now, here’s where we give you a choice to add a crunchy twist. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend crafting some buttered breadcrumbs using stale French bread. Dust them with a sprinkle of cayenne for a gentle kick and grind up some fennel seeds to add a burst of aromatic flavor. Then, let them sizzle in a pan with a touch of butter until they turn golden brown. These breadcrumbs will give your Spaghettini Portofino an exciting texture and a delightful hint of spiciness.

Step 4: Golden Garlic Crostini No pasta dish is complete without a sidekick, and our Spaghettini Portofino deserves the best. Picture this: buttered French bread, kissed with minced garlic, and toasted to golden perfection. Finish it off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a shower of fresh Italian parsley. This garlic crostini will elevate your meal to new heights, providing a crunchy and aromatic accompaniment.

Step 5: The Sauce Revelation Now, let’s dive into the heart of our dish – the sauce. Melt ample butter in a saucepan and let your creativity flow. Incorporate corn kernels for a delightful crunch, or add a teaspoon of lobster paste or lobster bouillon to infuse a subtle taste of the sea. Remember those luscious roasted tomatoes and garlic? Throw them into the mix along with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors. For those seeking a touch of indulgence, a splash of cream will make the sauce luxuriously rich and velvety.

Step 6: Topping Finale It’s time for the finishing touch! Sprinkle a generous amount of breadcrumbs (from Step 3) and freshly chopped Italian parsley over your Spaghettini Portofino for a burst of color and an extra layer of flavor. This topping will add a playful crunch to each bite, complementing the smoothness of the pasta and the succulent prawns.

There you have it – our peppy and upbeat journey through the creation of Spaghettini Portofino! Remember, this recipe is all about making it your own. Feel free to skip or personalize any steps to suit your taste buds and culinary preferences. Now, gather your loved ones, set the table with joy, and let the flavors of this vibrant dish transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Portofino. Buon appetito!


Spaghetti Portofino Recipe Tips 

  • After I posted this vidoe on my TikTok and had A LOT of ex-Cactus Club employees confirmed that they do use a lot of butter. Anytime my sauce seemed a little dull, the answer was butter lol
  • Make more tomatoes than you think you will need! I made 2 cups and I think 3 would have been better.
  • If you don’t have stale bread, I would recommend panko breadcrumbs! 

The Spaghetti Portofino Recipe


Makes 2 Servings

Roasted Tomatos and Garlic

2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes (Halved)
2 Bulbs of Garlic (Top Tip Cut off)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt + Pepper


2 Tbsp
12 Deveined + Peeled Prawns or Jumbo Shrimp
Minced Garlic


2 Tbsp of Butter
1 Cup of Bread Crumbs (I made my own but store bought is perfectly fine!)
1 Tsp of Cayenne Powder (Can add more if you like it spicy!)
1 Tbsp of Fennel Seeds

6 Tbsp of Butter
1/2 Cup of Corn
1/2 Can of Lobster Paste or Lobster Bouillon
Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic
Lemon Juice
Optional: Splash of Cream

Garlic Crostini
Buttered French Bread
Minced Garlic
Italian Parsley

Italian Parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and starting to caramelize.
  3. In a pan, cook the prawns with the minced garlic over medium heat until they are pink and cooked through.
  4. To make the breadcrumbs, pulse the stale French bread in a food processor until it forms crumbs. Mix in the cayenne pepper and fennel seeds.
  5. To make the garlic crostini, toast the buttered French bread in a toaster or under the broiler until it is crisp. Rub the surface of the toast with minced garlic and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley.
  6. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for a few minutes until it is tender. Stir in the lobster paste or lobster bouillon, roasted tomatoes and garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you’d like a creamier sauce, add a splash of cream.
  7. To assemble the dish, toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce. Top with the prawns and breadcrumbs. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve with the garlic crostini on the side. Enjoy!