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. 

 

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

There’s all this fuss about cauliflower these days, its proving to be a great substitute for rice, pizza bases and mash potato.  Aaaah… Mash Potato, how I love thee … unfortunately though, you do nothing for my waistline!  So I thought, let me see how the cauliflower puree phenomenon will stand up against my beloved mash potato.   The result? A creamy, rich, indulgent and delicious ‘mash’ / puree.   Is it mash potato? Well, no but its a very good substitute for those trying to avoid carbs at dinner time.   So quick and easy to prepare and I caught a few fingers licking the plate … mine included  😉  

I served mine with Pork Chops which I fried with olive oil, garlic and sage leaves.   I fried a few of the sage leaves first in the hot olive oil for 3 or 4 seconds before draining on carlton towel and sprinkling generously with salt.   I then set these aside for garnishing.   The oil was then nicely flavoured with the sage, so I added the pork chops, which I had already marinaded in a little olive oil, with a clove of garlic which I crushed into a smooth paste, salt & black pepper.   As far as week night dinners go, it was a goodie! 

Pork Chop cropped for blog picture

Yield: 3 – 4 servings

Ingredients: 

1 head cauliflower – tough stalks removed 

1 cup chicken stock / Water 

3 Tbsp fresh cream

1 Tbsp butter

Salt & Pepper for seasoning 

Method: 

Roughly chop the cauliflower and put in a pot together with the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until cauliflower is completely tender.  Strain in a colander, retaining a few spoons of the cooking liquid.  Put cauliflower in food processor and blend until smooth, adding about 20ml of the cooking liquid as you go.  Once processed to a smooth consistency, add the cream and butter and process again until combined. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy ! 

Cooks Note: I use the Woolworths organic ready made chicken stock for this recipe.  The stock freezes well, so I freeze whats left over after I’ve measured.  If you find the puree too thick, add a little extra cooking liquid or even better, extra cream 🙂

Header pic for pork chop resized