Creamy egg yolk, fresh vegetables, juicy king prawns, tangy mustard and Parmesan cheese. Have your attention? GOOD.
This is a recipe inspired by a traditional Carbonara, although there is nothing traditional about this recipe. Italians, apologies in advance for the recipe that’s about to follow… Well sorry not sorry as it’s incredibly delicious.
The base of a traditional Carbonara consists of fresh egg yolks, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper (notice, no cream). Our recipe pimps this mix up with the addition of Mustard. In a carbonara you ask? It just works. The acid in the mustard cuts through the richness of the egg and cheese mix to create a sauce that is truly mouthwatering. It’s a scientific fact that acid generates saliva – in fact think about biting into a Lemon right now. I can almost guarantee your mouth is watering even just thinking about it.
It’s January, so it only seems right to pair that delicious cheesy mustardy sauce with some fresh sautéed vegetables – nothing fancy, just a little oil some high hight and the vegetables, it’s what your (our) body is craving after overindulging during the festivities. Broccoli sliced really thin and halved fresh cherry tomatoes work wonders with this dish, although you can really throw anything spare veg you have at it and it would definitely forgive you.
You certainly don’t have to add meat or fish to this and keep it vegetarian – in fact we urge you to if that’s what you’re craving. BUT, for us, EVERYTHING tastes better with prawns! So we added an abundance of raw King Prawns to keep the vegetables cosy and your tastebuds happy. It’s really as simple as that, nothing fancy, just straight up easy cooking for that mid week pasta fix.
Oh yeah, and fresh Basil. EVERYTHING tastes better with fresh Basil.
Creamy King Prawn Tagliatelle with Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes
- Large Saucepan
- Frying pan / Wok (better)
- Wooden Spoon
- 200-250 g Uncooked Tagliatelle
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 75 g Peccorino Cheese parmesan would work too
- 1 heaped tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Brocolli head, florets sliced thin
- 10 Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 Fresh Basil leaves, rolled and finely sliced
- 1 tsp Fresh squeeze lemon juice
- 150 g Raw King Prawns
- 1 heaped tbsp Dijon or Wholegrain Mustard
- Slice the broccoli
- Halve the tomatoes
- Weigh the pasta
- Separate the egg yolks
- Grate the cheese, finely
Preparing the Sauce
- Mix the egg yolk, the cheese, mustard and the pepper together to form a thick but pourable paste
Cooking the Sauce, Pasta and Vegetables
- Get a pot of heavily salted water to the boil - about 2 tsp for a large saucepan
- Heat a wok (or frying pan) on a medium heat
- When the water has reached a rolling boil add the pasta, at the same time add the broccoli to the frying pan in a little oil.
- Keep the broccoli moving slightly with the wooden spoon to avoid buring and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Like a stir fry.
- Once the broccoli is starting to brown and soften (slightly), add roughly 6 of the cherry tomatoes (6 whole, so 12 halves) and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
- Add the King Prawns and cook until just turned pink - try not to overcook. As soon as no grey coloour is left they're done.
- Turn off the heat and add the remaining cherry tomatoes to heat through - the contrast in soft and firm tomatoes gives the dish great balance and texture.
- Once the pasta is cooked drain and reserve the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the prawn, broccoli and tomato pan and combine well.
- Add the egg yolk and cheese mix to this pasta and stir well to combine. Loosen with about a tablespoon of pasta water and mix well. Check the consistency, it should be a thick-ish sauce. If it's too thick and stodgy add a little bit of pasta water a splash at a time to loosen. TOP TIP - you can always add more but you can't take it out.NOTE - the heat of the wok/frying pan and the pasta will cook the egg and cheese mixture. Do not worry.
- Finish with lemon, stir and taste. Add more salt is required and more lemon if the balance is slightly off. It should be rich, creamy and salty with a slight acidic citrus kick.
- Use some tongs and a ladle to create a twrilled nest of Tagliatelle and place in a deep dish pasta bowl. Top with prawns and vegtables.
- Garnish with fresh Basil. Serve with extra Pecorino.
- Prepare all your vegetables first. Once the cooking starts, everything happens very quick.
- Boiling the kettle before preparing the dish gives you a head start.
- Too many people under salt the pasta water, about 2 large tsp should do it. It's important as the pasta water goes into the final sauce.
- Don't overcook the prawns. When they're pink they're done. Add them at the very last minute when the veg is cooked and keep turning them to ensure even cooking.
- Make sure the pan is off the heat and not searing hot when adding the egg and cheese mixture. If it's too hot the egg will egg and become scrambled egg. Take the pan off the heat and let cool for a minute. Drain the pasta and let that cool for a minute at least too. Use tongs to combine, and combine it quickly. Then loosen with pasta water, but use sparingly!
- Fresh basil and lemon makes all the difference to the finish of the dish. Try and use it if you can.