FRESH LINGUINE WITH TIGER PRAWNS, CHERRY TOMATOES AND WILD GARLIC PESTO
Wild garlic season is here! I love this time of year because it means that Spring has arrived and we can look forward to warmer weather (that's the theory anyway!) and lots of wonderful produce.
This recipe can be adapted - it could be made without the prawns or you could use dried pasta (I use Waitrose dried egg pappardelle which is superb if I am short of time.)
Ingredients (serves 4)
200g wild garlic leaves
1 clove of garlic, crushed
70g pine nuts (lightly toasted in a dry pan)
150ml Extra Virgin olive oil (plus some for cooking)
50g grated Parmesan
125g ‘00’ flour
200g egg yolks
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
100ml fish stock
50ml double cream
500g large raw peeled tiger prawns (de-veined)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wild Garlic Pesto:
Finely shred 150g of the wild garlic leaves and place in a food processor with the crushed clove of garlic and 50g of pine nuts. With the motor running add the olive oil gradually, stopping every now and then to scrape the side of the bowl, until you have a thick paste-like consistency. Add the Parmesan and black pepper to taste and pulse briefly. It is important to work the pesto quickly to ensure a bright vibrant green paste. Store in an airtight jar, covering the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil. These quantities make more than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for 1 month.
Add the ‘00’ flour, semolina and egg yolks into a food processor until a ball (be careful not to overwork though). Knead 100 times until a smooth silky dough. Cover in cling film and rest for 1 hour in the fridge. Cut into thirds and work each section through a pasta machine (on setting 5). Allow the three sheets to dry before putting through the pasta machine on the linguine setting.
Cooking the dish:
Squeeze and discard the seeds and juice from the tomatoes and halve. Heat a little olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften. Then add 2 tablespoons of the pesto and cook for 1 minute. Add the fish stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for approx 5 minutes until reduced by half. Add the cream and simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. If your sauce gets a little too thick just add a little of the cooking liquor from the pasta. Add the prawns and remaining 50g of wild garlic leaves to the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes. The wild garlic should be just wilted and the prawns slightly pink. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Just before serving add 1 table spoon of pesto and the juice of half a lemon and stir in.
Place a little pasta in each bowl and spoon over the prawns and sauce. Scatter a few toasted pinenuts over the top and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with wedges of lemon on the side. Bon appetite!
If you would like to print this recipe out, you can clink on the pdf link here.