Cooking with Skye McAlpine: Tagliolini with Prawns, Courgette & Saffron

Is there anything better than a plateful of warm, fresh, filling pasta? Yes. A plateful of warm, fresh, filling pasta inspired by the flavours of Venice—and cooked in a generous slug of white wine.

This is where Skye McAlpine comes in. For Skye, culinary artist behind the blog From My Dining Table, her happiest and most vivid memories are centred around food. Ahead of our in-store event celebrating the launch of her new cookery bible A Table in Venice, we asked Skye to share one recipe with us that immediately transports her back to the cosy corners Venice.

tagliolini recipe 1And we were not disappointed. Skye has secreted to us a fabulously fresh and very Venetian tagliolini recipe. This recipe serves four, so it’s the perfect dish for the next time you’re cooking up memories with your nearest and dearest—which will inevitably be tonight!

‘’Tagliolini is essentially very finely cut tagliatelle—about as thick as a tapestry needle. It is a delicate pasta that complements the simple, fresh flavours of this sauce particularly well. Because it is so fine, take extra care with the cooking time; more often than not I find that it’s done before I know it. Use fresh egg pasta, if you can, in which case you will need about 600g as it weighs heavier than dried.’’

tagliolini recipe 2What you’ll need

  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 courgettes, roughly chopped
  • 300g shelled and de-veined raw king prawns
  • 50ml white wine
  • 100ml single cream
  • 400g tagliolini
  • Pinch of sea salt

How it’s made

  1. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the saffron strands to a fine powder with a small pinch of salt. Set to one side.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, over a low-medium heat for 3–5 minutes, until the onion starts to become translucent.
  3. Add the courgettes and cook, stirring, for 3–5 minutes, until they begin to colour.
  4. Add the prawns and white wine and stir for 2–3 minutes, until the wine has largely evaporated and the prawns have started to turn pink.
  5. When all the wine has evaporated, stir in the ground saffron, followed by the cream. Remove from the heat and season with a little salt to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the tagliolini in a large saucepan of generously salted boiling water until al dente (or firm to the bite). Just before you drain the pasta, scoop out half a cup of the cooking water and set to one side.
  7. Drain the pasta in a colander, toss it back in the saucepan and add the sauce and the reserved cooking water. Toss well and serve immediately while still warm with a few parsley leaves scattered on top, if preferred.

tagliolini recipe 3Have we whet your appetite Venetian cooking? Pick up a copy of Skye McAlpine’s cookery bible A Table In Venice here.