Tagliatelle with cherry tomatoes, courgettes & prawns

Recipe from Waitrose Magazine

https://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/recipe_directory/t/tagliatelle-withcherrytomatoescourgettesandprawns.html

Have I ever mentioned how much I love seafood pasta? Because I’m going to say it again- I love it! When I first came across this recipe I just couldn’t resist- courgettes are one of my favourite vegetables as well and to me the recipe just screamed summer. I have to confess, I have since cooked it many times, but I’m not always in the frame of mind to write a review- I have to remember to take a picture before demolishing what’s on my plate or in the pan, take notes of timings and type everything up while details are fresh in my mind. To this end, an awful lot of my favourite recipes don’t get reviewed and I don’t get to scream ‘cook this’ at the top of my lungs across the blogosphere. So here, at last, is a review of one of my all time favourite “hall of fame” recipes.

Difficulty rating- 2/5- very quick, nothing beyond a very small amount of chopping and simple cooking.

Necessary equipment-

Scales

1x large saucepan or stockpot

1x colander

1x chopping board

1x chef’s knife

1x large frying pan

1x tablespoon measure

1x wooden spoon

1x pair of tongs

1x grater or zester

For how many people? 4, but if you’re very hungry make it for 2 (or double it for 4!) and have seconds. If you’re watching what you eat, don’t- seconds are pretty irresistible.

Timings-

Total time taken (according to the recipe)- 20 minutes

Total time taken by me- 20 minutes

Hands-on time (according to the recipe)- 5 minutes

Hands-on time taken by me (including ingredients prep)- 5 minutes- possibly slightly less.

Cooking time (according to the recipe)- 15 minutes

Cooking time taken by me- 15 minutes

The making-

I put the kettle on and half filled a large stock pot with water and put it on the hob to boil. I’ve taken to using our stock pot for pasta as it gives it enough room when cooking, and find this to be more efficient than boiling the kettle 2-3 times. I also put my largest frying pan on a high heat on the hob (an 8 on the middle ring of my induction hob.)

While the water for the pasta and the frying pan were heating, I weighed out the pasta; weighed out and rinsed the cherry tomatoes; peeled and sliced two garlic cloves; and rinsed and chopped the courgette. Once the kettle had boiled, I added the water to the water heating in the stock pot with a large pinch of salt.

After this, the frying pan was hot enough so I measured out and added the oil to the pan and added the tomatoes, which I stirred regularly with a wooden spoon throughout their cooking time. When the water in the stock pot had reached a rolling boil, I added the tagliatelle and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Once the tomatoes had been cooking for about a minute I decided the pan wasn’t hot enough and cranked the heat up to the hottest setting, then, when their 3 minutes were up, I lowered the heat (7 on my hob) and added the courgettes to the pan. While the courgettes were cooking (again, being stirred regularly), I took the prawns and mascarpone out of the fridge ready to add to the pan when the time came.

When the pasta had just under two minutes left to cook, I added the prawns to the pan with the vegetables. When there was one minute left of cooking time I filled a mug with the pasta cooking water and put a colander in the sink ready.

When the timer for the pasta went off, I drained it and added it to the pan with the vegetables and prawns, along with a tablespoon of mascarpone. At this point, I traded my wooden spoon for a pair of tongs to combine the pasta and sauce ingredients more effectively (and later to serve the dish.) I zested a lemon, cut it in half and squeezed the juice over, then added a small splash of the pasta water.

Removing the pan from the heat, I made sure everything was tossed together thoroughly before serving into pasta bowls. Then I added a grating of parmesan.

Any cheats or changes?

On this occasion I didn’t add the basil at the end of cooking time as we didn’t have any in the house. It’s delicious when you do include it but not the end of the world if you forget.

The recipe doesn’t suggest the parmesan and in Italy it is definitely not the done thing to serve it over seafood, but I am a heathen and love this dish with some parmesan grated over the top.

Any extra tips?

The first few times I cooked this I was worried I’d not cooked the tomatoes for long enough at the end of three minutes and cooked them for longer before adding the courgettes. All this meant was that when I added the courgettes too much liquid from the tomatoes was in the pan and they didn’t have an opportunity to brown rather than boiling in the tomato juice. Don’t be tempted to make the same mistake!

If you didn’t want to add parmesan, some salty toasted breadcrumbs would work really well sprinkled over the top.

If you wanted to make this vegetarian, it would work without the prawns and still be delicious.

Anything you’d change for next time?

Absolutely nothing from the recipe- hopefully I’ll remember to add the basil though!

Serving Size- pretty good, but it’s such a more-ish dish you may well want a larger helping.

The eating-

This dish is beautiful, bright and colourful on the plate. It doesn’t necessarily look elegant but it looks joyful and summery. The citrus of the lemon hits your nose before you take your first mouthful and it manages to hit all the flavour notes you want- sweetness from the tomatoes, a pleasant tang from the lemon, freshness from the courgettes, creaminess from the mascarpone and a touch of salinity from the prawns. I also find adding parmesan gives an extra layer of flavour and textural interest.

Any comments from other people? My husband said that even though he often finds pasta dishes unremarkable, he thinks this one is light and yummy.

WW Points- 11

Verdict- 5/5 – This seafood pasta dish is one of my absolute all time favourite dishes to cook and eat. It takes just the time that the pasta takes to cook, it’s healthy and it’s low cal- well, it’s low cal if you can resist going back for seconds

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