Recipe: tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and mushrooms

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I made this pasta with prawns, mushrooms and tomatoes back in Sweden in August for my parents and I for supper and we all really enjoyed it.

It feels fresh and light although it has cream in it and the prawns work so well with both tomatoes and mushrooms.

And it’s actually the tomatoes that steal the show for me! Look out for those little bursts of juicy sweet tomato that comes with almost every bite. I had the luxury of using my mother’s homegrown cherry tomatoes in different colours (they were delicious!) but any small tomatoes in season will work just as well (I’ve made this dish a few times since August using store-bought on-the-vine British cherry tomatoes).

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Tagliatelle with prawns, tomatoes and button mushrooms, serves 3-4

500 g fresh tagliatelle

1-2 shallots, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

plenty of butter and neutral oil for frying

200 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

50 ml dry white wine

150 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

300 ml double cream

1/2 stock cube (fish or vegetable) 

400 g frozen Atlantic shell-on prawns, defrosted and peeled (or approx 250 g fresh ones) 

approx 2 tsp caster sugar

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

Fry onions and garlic in butter and oil on medium heat without browning. Remove from pan. Add more butter and oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms on medium-high heat until golden brown. Season and remove from pan. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the tomatoes and let them cook on medium geat for a few minutes. Add the wine and let some evaporate before adding cream and stock cube (no water). Stir and let the sauce thicken. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper (the sugar will balance the acidity from the tomatoes). You want the sauce to have depth and taste a lot as the pasta will dilute the flavours. Cook the pasta in a large pot and drain.  

Take the sauce off the heat and add the prawns. Stir and add the pasta. Mix properly so every strand of pasta is coated with sauce. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.  

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Recipe: Crisps with feta crème and pomegranate

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When I had the girls over for dinner, I started the evening with a prosecco cocktail and crisps with toppings. I’ve already introduced you to the bleak roe version (so yum!) but this, much more accessible version with feta, pomegranate and parsley is just as nice. Perfect for the holidays!

Crisps with feta crème, pomegranate seeds and parsley, serves 6 as a nibble

1/2 bag salted (nice) crisps 

1/3 packet feta

100 ml creme fraiche

pomegranate seeds

chopped parsley

Find the nicest looking crisps in the bag and put them on a plate/platter. Whip creme fraiche and feta until smooth. Season with pepper. Place a small dollop of the feta crème on each crisp, top with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve. 

Girolles pasta

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Before I left for Sweden my mother emailed me and asked how many girolles I wanted when I got there. ‘How many is there?’, I asked. ‘I bought three kilos’, mother said. ‘Well, could I have one kilo, please?!’

A whole KILOGRAM of my favourite mushroom – I feel rich! But before I went home I needed to make space in the freezer for my treasure and used up the last of the girolles from last year making this gorgeous pasta.

 

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Fettucine with browned butter, girolles, garlic, parsley and parmesan, serves 2

2 balls of De Cecco fettucine (my favourite dried pasta brand)

50 g salted butter

150 g girolles

1 small garlic clove

butter for frying

a bunch chopped parsley

salt and pepper

parmesan

Cook the pasta al dente. Brown the butter in a large saucepan (it splatters a bit); put on medium heat until it smells nutty and the butter underneath the from has a nice brown colour. Remove from heat. 

Fry the girolles in butter on medium heat. Add the chopped garlic towards the end. Season and scatter with parsley. 

Drain the pasta and mix with a few tablespoons of the browned butter (avoid the sediment on the bottom) and mix in with the girolles. Adjust the seasoning and add more butter if you like. Scatter with grated parmesan and serve. 

Roast beef and venison with potato parcels and Madeira sauce

The main course at my birthday party consisted of two types of roast meat; beef and venison, puff pastry and potato parcels and a creamy Madeira sauce.

The meat was simply prepared by trimming it, letting it reach room temperature, season and sear it all around in a hot pan and then transfer to the oven until pinkish red in the middle. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes and then slice finely.

Served with a simple yet delicious Madeira sauce (reduce Madeira wine and beef stock with fried onions, then add cream and Maizena starch to thicken, season to taste) this was a wonderful meal. But what really made it come together were the puff pastry and new potato parcels with parmesan and parsley. So yummy!

Puff pastry and potato parcels with parmesan and parsley, serves 3-4 portioner

6-8 large new potatoes, diced and par-boiled

1 roll all-butter puff pastry

100 ml grated parmesan + extra to top

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

1 tbsp chopped parsley

salt and pepper

Roll out the puff pastry and divide it into six squares. Use a cupcake tin and place cover six of the holes with the puff pastry squares. Mix parmesan, creme fraiche and parsley in a bowl, season. Press as much of the potato you can into the buff pastry shells and top with a dollop of the parmesan mixture. Add some grated parmesan on top. Season and bake in 200C for about 20 minutes. Can be reheated.