15 May 2011

Springtime Prawn Pasta

I have said how I want to move us along from eating heavy stews and cream-laden this that and the others - which is okay during the winter (to a certain extent), but doesn't do for spring or summer.

As such, I found a recipe on Yummly that got my brain ticking over as regards a pasta dish.  I was looking for a lighter pasta dish anyway and although the one in question (Creamy Shrimp & Mushroom Pasta) didn't really fit the bill owing to its use of linguine (which hubby has requested we steer clear of for a while) and mushrooms (which Son & heir can't abide), it only needed a change in ingredients to make it a viable proposition.

The trouble was, I then had a bit of brain-fade about what to use instead of mushrooms, that would make it "spring like".  Owing to said brain-fade, I wound up using baby corn and sugar snap peas.  Which were fine - but it required something else to give it another dimension.  As I was cooking it, I was wishing I had a bunch of spring onions in the fridge.  I'm sure they would have done the trick. 

I was also aware that a whole pack of cream cheese wasn't exactly following the "steer clear of creamy stuff" brief, but having changed the recipe to include a low fat cream cheese, figured that was enough of a compromise.

The end result was nice, but requires some work.  When I do it again (and I will, because I am convinced there's a nice dish in here somewhere), I'll change the low fat cream cheese to low fat creme fraiche, lose the garlic (as it didn't sit very well with the "spring" theme) and add spring onions and maybe some dill or tarragon along with a good scrunge or four of freshly ground black pepper.  (A "scrunge", for those not in the know, is a turn of the peppermill.  "Scrunge" is our description of the sound it makes!).

So, unusually, the recipe you have here is the untried and untested, mark II version.  Do let me know what it's like, if you try it before I do!

SPRINGTIME PRAWN PASTA  (feeds 3-4)

Ingredients :

Enough Fusilli pasta for the assembled throng.  I usually use around 4-500g for 3 of us.
a knob of butter
a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and chopped quite fine
300ml pot of creme fraiche
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill or tarragon (not both!)
1 tbsp chopped basil
300g prawns (I used frozen cooked peeled prawns, defrosted)
100g baby corn, broken into quarters
100g sugar snap peas
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

METHOD :

1.  Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.  Once boiling, add the pasta to it and cook as it says on the packet.  However, seven minutes before it is ready, add the baby corn and four minutes before it is ready, add the sugar snap peas.  It is best if they are at room temperature before adding, so as not to cool the water too much.

2.  In a frying pan, melt the knob of butter and add the spring onions.  Cook them gently until they are beginning to soften.

3.  Then, add the creme fraiche and warm through gently, stirring all the time.

4.  Add the herbs and stir through, along with a good quantity of the black pepper.

5.  Making sure that the creamy mixture is quite thick (reduce it a little further, if not), add the prawns and stir them through.  Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, then check for seasoning and adjust if needs be.

6.  When the pasta is done, drain in a colander and replace into the pan.

7.  Add the prawns to the pasta and stir through, then serve immediately.

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