Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pasta with Prawns, Broccoli & Mascarpone and Cookbook Sundays # 24

Pasta with Prawns, Broccoli & Mascarpone 1

"Heaven ... I'm in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.
And I seem to find the happiness I seek, ..."
with a mouthful of this between my cheeks!!

Ok, so I've taken a few liberties with the lyrics of Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek", and admittedly my lyrical lattitude might have Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire missing a step or two, but trust me when I tell you that you are going to want to trip the light fantastic straight to the kitchen and make this dish ... straight away ... today ... without further delay - are you getting the picture?

This is another dish from the Karen Martini book, "Where the Heart is", which I introduced you to last week, and so is my submission this week for Cookbook Sundays - I told you, you were going to be seeing a lot from this book.

This recipe, I think, really typifies so much from this book - it is a thoroughly easy dish to bring together and takes no more time to make than that involved in boiling pasta;  it uses a great combination of ingredients - one which might not seem immediately obvious, but once you take that first mouthful makes you wonder why you've never tried it before;  it is simple, comforting, family food, and yet would certainly not disappoint if served for company.

I adjusted quantities and ingredients a little to suit what I had on hand and number of mouths I had to feed, but like many such recipes quantities are not critical so feel free to adjust this to suit your own tastes.  As far as pasta goes, I used strozzapreti (priest chokers), because I love the name and they also happen to be my favourite shape for all kinds of things, but feel free to use whatever takes your fancy - penne would be good, and farfalle would also be great.

Pasta with Prawns, Broccoli & Mascarpone
Adapted from recipe by Karen Martini from
Makes 2 generous servings
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

250g (9 oz) dried pasta shapes of your choice
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300g raw prawns
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
2x garlic cloves, finely chopped
1x large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1x lemon, zest & juice
100g (3.5 oz) mascarpone (creme fraiche would also be good)

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.  Salt the water liberally, add the pasta to the water and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the broccoli to the water, and continue boiling until the pasta is cooked.  Note:  you want the broccoli to be well-cooked here - it should end up with a similar "bite" to the pasta - this is not the home for crispy, crunchy broccoli.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the prawns to the pan, season with the flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook, stirring from time to time, until the prawns are beginning to turn pink (2-3 minutes).  Add the chilli and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the parsley, cook for a further minute;  then add the wine, lemon juice and zest.  As it bubbles up, stir to deglaze the pan.  Remove from the heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of the pasta water, then remove from heat, and drain.  Return prawn mixture to the heat, add the pasta to the prawns, and toss to coat everything well.  Add the mascarpone, mix through thoroughly, and add some of the reserved pasta water if necessary.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately, and enjoy the accolades.

I'm sharing this dish this week at Cookbook Sundays, where my friends are delving into their cookbook collections and sharing some of their recipes.  Do keep reading to see what they're cooking - you might even feel inspired to link up a recipe from one of your own cookbooks.

I'm also sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by Michelle at Ms. enPlace, and at Gallery of Favourites hosted by April at 21st Century Housewife and Alea at Premediated Leftovers.

Cookbook Sundays Badge 

If you're anything like me you have dozens of cookbooks gathering dust on your bookshelves, some of which have never even been cooked from.  Sure I spent hours browsing through them when I first bought them, marking all the recipes I was going to make with little post-it notes, and yet still those books languish in the bookcase and never make it to the kitchen.  There are others from which I have made but one recipe which was such a resounding success that I've made it over and over again, and yet somehow I've never made anything else from that book.  Sound a bit familiar?!

Take comfort - you are not alone, and now Cookbook Sundays is your opportunity to change that.  Every Sunday I'm going to share with you a recipe that I haven't made before from one of my ever expanding collection of cookbooks.  And, because I know that if you have read this far then you are guilty of this too, I'm inviting you to join in with me.  Each week my Cookbook Sundays post will have a linky for you to share something you've cooked from one of your cookbooks.

The rules for joining in are simple:
  1. Your post must state the author and the title of the book your recipe has come from.
  2. Your post must mention Cookbook Sundays and link back to this post.  Including the Cookbook Sundays badge is optional, but always appreciated.
  3. You may submit as many entries as you like, and you may use the same cookbook as many times as you like.  Old posts are also welcome.
  4. Lastly,  remember that what goes around, comes around - one of the reasons you are participating in this is because you want people to read your posts, so do the right thing and go and visit a few of the other participants - you can even "Like" your favourites. 
Now, go and dust off those cookbooks and get cooking!  Use the linky tool at the end of this post to submit your entry/entries - simply scroll down to where it says "You are next ... Click here to enter", and then follow the instructions.  The linky will be open for one week.

Lastly, if you would like to use the Cookbook Sundays badge in your post, simply copy the code in the box beside the badge below and paste it into your post.  Feel free to also use it in your sidebar if you wish.



  1. I love shrimp and this looks great. We are headed on vacation, I am bringing some cookbooks with to read and hopefully find some inspiration for future Cookbook Sundays.

    1. Thanks, Jacky. Hope you have a great holiday, and find lots of inspiration in those cookbooks.

    2. Thanks also for sharing your Tomatillo Banana Salsa - intriguing combination - I wish we could get tomatillos in New Zealand.

  2. I think Irving Berlin would be proud to have his song in the company of your delicious pasta dish. This looks like one for my weekly menu. We have been having more seafood and chicken lately to cut back on calories. Looks great!

    1. Thanks, Tina - hope you give it a try. I definitely like a diet with plenty of seafood in it - yes, it's lighter in calories, but also so healthy.

  3. Hi Sue, beautiful dish, I am a huge fan of just about any sort of pasta. Love the name strozzapreti too... I will have to hunt some out.

    1. Thanks, Mairi. If you can't find strozzpreti look for casarecci, which is very similar - look for the De Cecco brand.

  4. I think that I NEED a big helping of that pasta. It looks absolutely creamy and delectable!

    1. Thanks, Heather - it was so good, I scoffed enough for two people!!

    2. Thanks also for sharing your pastry puffs - love the combination of prosciutto and parmesan.

  5. this sounds so good, every dish should come with a musical accompaniment.

    1. Thanks, Pam, and thanks for sharing your Melon & Prosciutto Salad xo

  6. Wow does that look good! I am working on a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp to share, see you soon. And thanks for hosting.

    1. Thanks, Melynda, and thanks for sharing your Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. Delicious combination. I've just started growing my own strawberries, so can't wait to try this when summer comes around and I have my first crop.

  7. The pasta looks so creamy and delicious! If I only had some here. ;-) I finally remembered to link up this week with some spinach-dal soup. ;-) Thanks for hosting.

    1. Thanks for joining in, Deb - your spinach & dal soup looks wonderful - can't wait to give it a try.

  8. This post really made me smile - I love how you played with those lyrics. As for your pasta, oh my goodness I need to try this soon! It looks so delicious, and I love the prawn, lemon and mascarpone combination.

    1. Thanks, April - the prawns, lemon and mascarpone work together wonderfully, and texturally the inclusion of the broccoli is great too. Not to mention that, as soon as you put broccoli into anything you feel as though you have transformed it into health food - broccoli and mascarpone totally cancel each other out, right?!

  9. Hi Sue? Just popped in from Pam's! Looks like the perfect time too. Not only am I a huge fan of Pasta & Prawns, I am also guilty of all those cookbook "sins" you speak of.

    Although I post about my cookbook collection on my blog, I don't always actually cook from them. (guilty:) I will try to join in on the fun one day though. I actually thought of doing a special day just for cookbooks and now, I can just visit you for a few helpings:)

    Thanks so much for sharing...Bookmarked!!!


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