Prawn, Lemon & Rocket Penne Pasta

Prawn, Lemon & Rocket Penne Pasta

I love Pasta ! When I moved to London in my early twenties, I had my first taste of basil pesto and fell in love! I would drench it over big bowls of pasta with bacon and mushrooms and I simply could. not. stop. eating. it.  Needless to say that when I flew home a year later on holiday, friends and family practically bypassed me at the airport due to not recognising me … or rather, the size of me 😮  

I’ve learnt to practice portion control since then and don’t make pasta part of our families weekly menu.  I am however, a firm believer in the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra and therefore do not see anything wrong with enjoying a bowl of pasta every now and then!  What is life without pasta?  This particular pasta is very fresh and certainly a lot healthier than the bottled pesto jars of my youth.  The flavours marry together beautifully, so simple but really packs a tasty flavour which makes this pasta dish, restaurant quality!   I’ve made it for friends and they have asked for the recipe.  Nough said 🙂  Martha Who_Prawn Pasta stomped1

 

Yield: 4 – 5 

Ingredients: 

500g dried penne pasta

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste

2 – 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped 

450ml of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc / Chenin) 

450g peeled & de-frosted ready to eat prawns 

4 tbs sun-dried tomato puree 

Zest and juice of 2 lemons 

4 big handfuls of rocket, chopped 

Salt & Black Pepper 

Olive Oil 

Method: 

Follow the cooking instructions for the pasta and while that is on the go, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a big frying pan and add the garlic and chilli – cook on a gentle heat ensuring not to burn the garlic.  After a minute or 2, add the white wine and the tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol has been cooked away together with the acidity of the tomatoes.  Drain your pasta and reserve a little of the cooking liquid.  Once the sauce is to your taste, add the prawns and mix through.  Remove from the heat.  Return the pasta to its pot and add the sauce, stir to combine.  Add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and half the rocket and 20 or 30 mL of the reserved cooking water.  Taste. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.  Heat through on the stove top. Plate and garnish with the remaining rocket.  

Cooks Notes: I buy the Woolworths ‘Frozen fully cooked Prawns’  and the Woolworths ‘Sundried Tomato Quarters’.  With the tomatoes, I drain the vinaigrette it comes in and blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor / blender to a lumpy puree type consistency. 

 

Prawns for Any Occasion!

Prawns for Any Occasion!

Photography by Darren Bester

 

Maybe it’s because Easter is around the corner and I always associate Easter with seafood (after chocolate of course), or perhaps it’s the desire to indulge in one last al fresco lunch under the sun, before winter arrives in the Southern Hemisphere, or maybe it’s that case of ‘you want what you can’t have’, due to the baby boy currently growing in my belly and shellfish therefore being taboo… but for whatever reason, the desire to cook prawns, was one I finally gave into this past Sunday !

I made something quick and easy …toasted baguette with garlic & chili prawns and a fresh guacamole salsa for hubby and some friends (I ate mine minus the prawns). So quick and easy, yet so tasty and moreish. Something you could serve at a party as a canapé, as a starter or perhaps, like we did, as a lovely al fresco snack… Minimum effort for maximum results – just look how beautifully these pretty pink babies plate up … a quick and easy way to impress your guests. Prawn callage

Recipe Yield: Makes 10

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

30 prawns (deveined & peeled) (you could get away with 20 – 2 per slice of baguette)

2 clove garlic

2 fresh red chilli’s

For the salsa:

1 red onion finely diced

2 salad tomatoes finely diced

4 tablespoons coriander chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Avocados

10 Baguette slices – slightly toasted

Method: For the salsa – combine the chopped tomato, red onion, coriander, lime juice and seasoning and set aside.  Mash your avocado and add seasoning and a squirt of lime juice.   Toast your baguette slices either in a pan, coating lightly with some oil or in the oven for 5 minutes.   In a pan, heat olive oil, fry your prawns for a minute before adding the garlic and the chili, fry for another 3 minutes or until your prawns are pink and cooked through. Dollop a good amount of avocado onto each baguette slice, followed by a dollop of salsa and top with the prawns and there you have it… a fancy little treat in no time! Prawns2

Darren Bester of Darren Bester Photography and Ashton Van Graan of The Sweetest Things and I, had fun styling this & Darren took all the mouth watering photographs! The first of many joint food styled shoots to come …