I’ve been absent for a little but you can blame my new venture, Three Little Birds, in Brixton for that. By day it’s a café and boutique, by night it’s a kitchen and rum bar; all inspired by Jamaica, so come say hi soon. I literally live there, morning, noon and night but recently I was asked to share a quick recipe for an interview so I had to make the time to cook and take pictures.
When I think of a quick dish I immediately think of pasta especially since I find it so comforting and we all need a warm hug in the winter. In fact Italians are the pale Jamaicans of Europe, in the sense that they are loud, exuberant and expressive people. When Italians are happy they are happy, when they are angry they are angry, unlike other European cultures it seems it is okay to express your feelings in Italian culture in the same way that we are not forced into political correctness in Jamaica.
To “Jamaicanise” a pasta dish people seem to always jerk the protein but I decided to marinate my prawns in a dressing made with scotch bonnet, thyme, parsley and lemon so that the flavour would be more subtle. I remember the first time I ever tasted parmigiano reggiano, I was at Eataly in NYC and knew that the cheese I was tasting was something special because it had a rich nutty flavour that excited my palette. I had asked the waiter what was the name of the cheese and he said “parmigiano reggiano” in a sing song accent that only an Italian makes desirable. For the rest of the night I mimicked his pronunciation of the cheese that is now a staple in my fridge as I’m long done with regular parmesan cheese. No more grated parmesan or shavings because buying the block of the real deal is far more rewarding!
My quick creamy pasta takes 25 minutes of your time, is always a popular request by my friends and family and now I pass it onto you for those moments you are rushed off your feet or just need a moment of indulgence to yourself.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 150g king prawns (cleaned)
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- handful of parsley
- 1 lemon
- 300ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 bundles of tagliatelle
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 mushrooms
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Marinate prawns in lemon juice, scotch bonnet and herbs. Set aside
- Bring a heavy pot of water to boil, add a generous pinch of salt and cook tagliatelle according to the instructions on the packet but strain the pasta a minute earlier, saving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile cut the garlic and mushrooms in thin slices.
- In the pot cook garlic for 2 minutes in a tablespoon of butter of medium heat and then remove them once soft and fragrant.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot, once melted add flour and stir vigorously until combined into a smooth paste before adding the cream and pasta water.
- Reduce the heat to low and add, garlic mushrooms, prawns, nutmeg and cheese, stirring slowly until the cheese is melted.
- After add the pasta and let it cook through for about three minutes.
- Garnish with some parmesan, thyme leaves and a crack of black pepper.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to boiling pasta water so that the tagliatelle doesn't stick together.
- After straining the pasta rinse in cold water so the pasta doesn't stick together.
- Garnish with thyme and cheese before serving.