Having just visited Tuscany, I’ve been feeling inspired to do more cooking the Italian way – simple cooking methods, few flavours championed by fresh, good quality, ingredients. Pasta is a dish that embodies all three of those commandments and incredibly there are approximately 350 shapes of pasta around the world, almost a different shape for every day of the year! Each time I go to the shops I’ll pick up a different shape – just to mix things up a bit. But I do also have a favourite – Linguine, which is my pasta of choice for this recipe.
In collaboration with Bertolli*, the producers of high-quality Tuscan Olive Oil, I’ve put my own little twist on one of Gennaro Contaldo’s pasta recipes using their Bertolli with Butter. I found two of Gennaro’s recipes I was inspired by and fused them together. The first was Linguine with Garlic, Chilli and Anchovy and the second was Casarecce with Courgettes and Prawns. I also made my own homemade pesto sauce to add to into the mix.
Fresh pasta is always preferable if you can buy it or make it yourself, but for the purpose of speed and ease, I cheated and bought the dried variety from Waitrose. Here is the full recipe, which by the way was taste tested with my own mama (the fiercest food critique you’ll ever come across):
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 large courgette
- 200g linguine
- Pinch of salt
- 90 g Bertolli with Butter
- 4 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 150 g uncooked jumbo king prawns
- Black pepper to season
- 1 fresh red chilli to garnish
For the pesto
- 50g pinenuts
- 50g Parmesan
- Large handful of basil leaves
- 150ml olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Toast the pinenuts in a frying pan until golden – use a low heat and toss occasionally to prevent burning.
- Transfer pinenuts into a food processor with basil, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic cloves. Blend until smooth and season.
- Grate the courgettes on the larger holes of a grater. Take handfuls of the grated courgettes and squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
- Place a large saucepan of lightly salted (optional) water on the heat, bring to the boil and cook the linguine for 7-8 minutes (or until al dente),
- Whilst pasta is cooking, melt Bertolli with Butter in a large frying pan, add garlic and sweat for a minute or so ensuring you do not burn, so lower the heat if necessary.
- Add grated courgettes and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until softened. Season with salt.
- Stir in prawns and continue to cook for a further 4 minutes (or until Prawns turn fully pink). Season with black pepper.
- Drain the pasta, add a few dollops of the pesto, then the sauce and prawns and toss well together. Finally, sprinkle chopped fresh chilli to garnish and serve immediately.
*This post was sponsored by Bertolli, although I’m already a Bertolli customer and only work with brands and products I’m happy to recommend.