King prawn and herb-and-almond pesto pasta
- April 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min
Try pesto with a difference in this recipe where it’s made with tarragon, dill, rocket and almonds then served with fresh king prawns and tagliatelle pasta.
- 38.2g (8g saturated)
- 75g (3.4g sugars)
- 400g dried tagliatelle
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red chilli, sliced
- 16 large raw sustainable king prawns (peeled, de-veined and butterflied with tails left intact; see know-how)
- 50ml dry white wine
- Juice ½ lemon
- A few handfuls rocket
For the pesto
- 1 bunch fresh basil, a few leaves reserved to garnish
- ½ bunch fresh tarragon, plus extra to garnish
- ½ bunch fresh dill, plus extra to garnish
- 4 handfuls rocket
- 80g parmesan, grated
- 50g blanched almonds
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon and juice ½, plus extra to taste/ garnish
- 80-100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Put all the pesto ingredients(except the olive oil) in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture forms a chunky paste. Taste and season – it should be fresh, herby and quite light, not wet or oily. Add more lemon juice if required, then transfer the pesto to a bowl and set aside.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the pasta and cook until it still has some bite.
- When the pasta has been cooking for a few minutes, heat the 3 tbsp olive oil in a large, wide frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chilli and gently fry for 2-3 minutes without browning. Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the prawns in a single layer. Pour over the wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until the underside of the prawns turns pink. Turn the prawns over with tongs, then squeeze over some lemon juice. Continue to cook until the prawns are pink all over.
- As soon as the pasta is cooked al dente (still with some bite), remove it from the pan with tongs and add it straight to the pan with the prawns. There’s no need to drain the pasta – a splash or two of the cooking water will help to loosen the consistency of the sauce. Keep the pan of water to hand while you finish the dish. Add two thirds of the pesto and toss well to combine. With the pan still on the heat, toss through a few handfuls of rocket.
- Add a little of the pasta cooking water or extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and toss – the pasta shouldn’t be dry. Taste and season well with lemon juice, salt and pepper (see tip). To serve, divide among 4 plates and garnish with extra lemon zest and fresh herbs.
To butterfly and de-vein prawns, run a small sharp knife along the back curve of each prawn, cutting about one third of the way through the flesh. Pull out and discard the black, thread-like intestinal tract with the tip of the knife, then discard. Keep the tails on for a pretty end result.
Take the time to toss the ingredients together well in step 5. Season the dish properly and it will really sing.
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