Picture the scene. You had a terrible day at work, your boss has probably shouted at you a couple of times and you clearly couldn’t see eye to eye with that client you were trying to help. It happens to all of us. I was stuck in a dead-end job for 2 years before embarking on a more exciting career and believe me, I had plenty of these days. Rather than coming home, pouring yourself a large glass of wine and ordering a take-away to drown your sorrow, I will ask you to cook. ‘Not a chance,’ I hear you say. Think again. Cooking has a therapeutic effect, it helps to make you relaxed and you get to feel like a child again while pottering away and turning the kitchen into a battlefield.
In addition, this pasta dish requires no more than simply blanching the vegetables and cooking the pasta. Surely that isn’t asking too much? I have made this dish with whatever I had in my frozen garden (a Nigella-esque way of referring to the freezer) and in tins stashed away in my store cupboard. It couldn’t get any simpler. The goal here was to show you that with minimal effort, no real recipe and a lot of love, even comfort food can aspire to be a jaw-dropping beauty. I certainly hope I have succeeded.
- 500g pasta (tortiglioni or maccheroni would do)
- 250g king prawns, shelled and deveined
- 1 x 340g tin of sweetcorn (frozen is also good)
- 300g frozen peas
- 100g ricotta (creme fraiche/cream cheese/mascarpone also good)
- 250g green beans
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- bunch of parsley, chopped
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, tumble in the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. 5 minutes before draining, add the green beans, so that they can cook with the pasta but still retain their crunch.
- Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then tumble in the frozen peas. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic and a splash of water. Leave to simmer for 3 minutes, then add the frozen prawns and cook until pink. Don’t overcook or they will be too rubbery.
- Take the peas and prawns off the heat and add the ricotta and lemon juice, mixing well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and green beans, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the prawn mixture and tumble in the sweetcorn, then mix to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.Arrange on a serving platter and decorate with the chopped parsley and the lemon zest. Enjoy!