Delicious and full of flavour pasta for your date night – Creamy tagliatelle pasta cooked with prawns and mussels and smeared with addicting parsley and macadamia pesto.
Do you like to cook pasta? It’s easy to cook isn’t it? Anyone can make good bolognese or carbonara pasta at home in a fraction of an hour. I love cooking pasta for dinner as well because it’s easy so I’ve been trying to develop more great pasta recipes, and I’m proud to share with you the latest pasta that I made a few days ago – Seafood Pasta with Parsley and Macadamia Pesto.
I’ve made seafood pasta and pesto pasta but have never combined the two together. It’s only up until I tried it in a local Italian restaurant Vapiano that I fell in love with this combination. The dish that I ordered was Gamberi E Spinaci, which is creamy pasta with prawns, baby spinach and basil pesto. It’s so delicious that it became my favourite dish to order every time I visit this restaurant.
I have always wanted to recreate that dish at home and I’m glad that I did now, even though not the same, but both still taste pretty delicious! I couldn’t decide which one is better. My soon-to-be husband is never a big fan of pasta (although he loves his lasagna) but he devoured this plate like a little child and even requested for more, which I rejected because I didn’t make many portions.
The idea of making parsley and macadamia pesto came to me when I wanted to use up my leftover parsley leaves which I overbought on the weekend. I don’t know why but herbs like parsley and cilantro are always sold in a big bunch when you only needed a little handful for garnish, and then the herbs die within a week. The only way to use them up is to freeze them with olive oil, or make a pesto out of it. I also happened to have a package of macadamia nuts and I was curious if both of them mixed together would taste great.
I made this pesto as if I was making a normal basil pesto, substituting basil with parsley and pine nuts with macadamia. The rest of the ingredients are similar – olive oil and lemon juice. Blitz them up in a blender and the pesto is ready.
I was really happy with how it turned out. So tasty and creamy, fresh and zesty thanks to the lemon juice, the parsley didn’t overpower this pesto as the macadamia helped turn it into a milder flavour and creamier texture. I think I’m going to try making some other pesto with macadamia next time because pine nuts can sometimes be really expensive in Australia, even more than macadamia nuts perhaps because Australia is producing heaps of them.
Fyi I’ve even used this for my whole baked cauliflower. I’m so going to make this again next time I have leftover parsley leaves.
And for the seafood I used prawns and mussels. I happened to have a jar of marinated mussels in the fridge so this is such a good way to use them. But you can omit the mussels and just use prawns. Or what’s even better: use fresh mussels, steam them and retain a cup of the juice. Use the juice for the pasta sauce. That will make this seafood pasta with parsley and macadamia pesto even more delicious.
- 3 servings of pasta (I used tagliatelle)
- 6 large prawns, peeled and deveined with tails intact
- 150 gr mussels meat
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200 gr spinach
- 250 ml cream
- chilli flakes, for garnish (optional)
- shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
- Parsley and Macadamia Pesto
- 1 cup parsley leaves,
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- To make pesto, process parsley leaves, macadamia nuts, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Pour olive oil slowly while the motor is running. Process until smooth.
- Cook pasta in a saucepan filled with lightly salted water until al-dente.
- At the same time, heat olive oil in a large pan and saute garlic, prawns and mussels for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add pesto and cream and mix well. Transfer the cooked pasta into the pan and saute until well combined. Add spinach and season to taste. Sprinkle chilli flakes and shredded parmesan cheese while serving (optional).