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Springtime Pasta

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Serves: 4
Ingredients:
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
350g / 12 oz dried rigatoni or other tubular pasta
12 large raw prawns
25g / 1 oz unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 baby globe artichokes
7 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Method:

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Prepare the artichokes one at a time. Cut off the stems and trim away any tough outer leaves. Cut across the tops of the leaves. Slice in half lengthways and remove the central fibrous chokes. then cut lengthways into 5mm / 1/4in thick slices. Immediately place the slices in the bowl of acidulated water to prevent discolouration.

Heat 5 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Drain the artichoke slices and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add them to the frying pan with the shallots, garlic, parsley and mint and cook over a low heat stirring frequently for 10-12 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.

Peel the prawns. cut a slit along the back of each and remove and discard the dark vein. Melt the butter in a small frying pan. cut the prawns in half and add them to the frying pan. Cook. stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. or until they have changed colour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta and tip it into a bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and toss well. Add the artichoke mixture and the prawns and toss again. Serve immediately.


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