Penne Pasta with Grilled Vegetables & Garlic Prawns

I decided to hit the grocery store with baby monster today as we were both feeling a tad cooped up. I decided to start in the produce section – which is on the opposite side of the entrance. Normally you’ll find me choosing my meat and starches first, but I thought I’d give the other end a try. This recipe can be made with any combo of veggies that work well on the grill. I went with asparagus, Portobello mushroom, fresh herbs and a few cherry tomatoes. I also grabbed a bag of frozen uncooked prawns. For vegetarian fare just don’t add the prawns!

Ingredients

One bunch of asparagus
One large Portobello mushroom
Handful of cherry tomatoes halved
Parsley and basil
1/2 lemon
Penne pasta
Small carton of whipping cream
Asiago cheese, grated
14 uncooked prawns (less or more, up to you!)
3/4 of pasta water
Olive oil or better yet garlic confit
little bit of flour, butter, salt and pepper

Fill pasta pot with water and salt it. Place over high heat. Pasta likes to be able to move around so use your biggest pot. Add an amount of salt that makes the water undrinkable. This is your only chance to season the actual pasta.

Chop up your parsley and basil (I find it easier to chop basil by first rolling it up). Snap off the ends of your asparagus. Skewer your prawns. Brush any dirt off of you mushroom with a towel (do not run it under water! it will make it chewy). Place on a pan, baste with oil and lightly salt and pepper them.

Heat grill to medium heat and cook veggies for 10 minutes or so, turning every once and a while. The mushroom will start to look wet and juicy when it’s done and the asparagus will have a light caramelized colour to it. When done pull off, chop up into edible pieces and set aside.

Reserve 3/4 cup of water before draining cooked pasta. On medium heat melt a chunk of butter in a large pan and sprinkle flour in, whisking it around for a few minutes. Alternate between pouring whipping cream and reserved pasta water. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and put the prawns on the grill for 5 minutes or until they turn pink in colour and have a few grill marks.

Place pan back on the stove and throw in all remaining ingredients. Heat for a few minutes, sqeaze half a lemon onto it and then plate it with a fresh piece of french bread and a glass of white wine… mmm!

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