For this delicious, yet simple and quick pasta with prawns and tenderstem broccoli recipe, you can use any type of good quality shell-on prawns. Instead of tagliatelle, you could also use spaghetti or fettuccine. See my home-made egg tagliatelle recipe if you want to make your own!
Ingredients (per person):
- 4-6 tiger prawns (I used frozen black tiger prawns, which I’d left to defrost at room temperature)
- 100-150g egg tagliatelle or other pasta
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic (use less if you’re not as much of a fan of garlic as I am!)
- a few dried chilli flakes or 2-3 slices of fresh red chilli (go very light on this – you want a slight bit of heat in the dish, not a heat that will overpower the delicate flavour of the prawns)
- a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil (I used 1 tablespoon to keep the fat content low, but ideally I would use more than that)
- fine sea salt (to taste) plus coarse sea salt for the pasta water
A few hours before you are due to start cooking, finely slice the garlic and mix it with the chilli and olive oil, then marinate the prawns in a small bowl or a plastic bag in the oil, garlic and chilli (place the marinating prawns in the fridge so they don’t go off!).
When it is time to start cooking, place a large pan of water with a handful of coarse sea salt on the hob on a high heat. While that comes up to the boil, prepare your broccoli: halve the stems so they are about 7-8cm long (if they are particularly long, you may have to cut each stem into 3 pieces), then cut them lengthways once or twice, to create thin strips.
Once the water is boiling, place the broccoli into the water to begin cooking.
While the broccoli are cooking, transfer the prawns, garlic, chilli and oil into a pre-heated (on high) non-stick frying pan, then turn down the heat to medium so you don’t burn the garlic while the prawns are cooking. Sprinkle on a little fine sea salt for seasoning. Cook the prawns for 4-6 minutes, until they are fully pink and cooked all the way through, turning them 2-3 times. When the prawns are cooked, take them out of the pan and set them aside.
Once the broccoli are cooked but still have a bit of bite/stiffness, lift them out of the cooking water (don’t discard the water, as you’ll need it for the pasta!) and place them straight into the pan with the garlic, chilli and olive oil. Put the pan with the cooking water back onto the heat so it comes back up to the boil. Briefly sauté the tenderstem broccoli, then add a little of the cooking water to stop them from burning while you’re cooking the pasta.
Place the tagliatelle (or other pasta) into the boiling water and cook them until they are almost cooked (a bit harder than ‘al dente’), so about 1-2 minutes less than the recommended ‘al dente’ cooking time on the pack. Or, if you have made tagliatelle yourself (see my recipe here) and they are still fresh (not dried), you’ll only be cooking them in the water for about 30 seconds; if you have left them to dry, you’ll cook them in the water for about 60-90 seconds.
Once the tagliatelle are almost cooked, lift them out of the cooking water, straight into the frying pan with the tenderstem broccoli, garlic and chilli. Add a little bit of the cooking water, turn up the heat and, stirring occasionally, finish the cooking process until they are ‘al dente’ and ready to eat and the pasta has reduced to almost nothing, leaving just a little bit of slightly thick sauce (the starch from the pasta as it finishes cooking give it the thick and creamy texture). At that point, add the prawns back into the pan to re-heat them prior to serving.
Serve and eat immediately. Enjoy!