One of my favourite condiments – I feel very strongly about them in general, I mean they make everything something – is a Turkish dip called Muhammara. It’s made with roasted peppers, walnuts and pomegranate. I have drawn inspiration from this and made a smoky pesto with sundried tomatoes, walnuts and lemon. The walnuts make the pesto extra creamy and this works beautifully with the pasta.
Picture of me by Paul Winch-Furness
- Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Chuck everything into a mini chopper and add a pinch of salt. Blend into a paste.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the prawns, tomatoes and garlic and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are cooked through.
- Add the pesto, a few tablespoons of the pasta water and the double cream. Mix everything together. Once bubbling, add the spinach cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously, until wilted.
- Tip the cooked pasta into the pan and add the basil. Toss together. Divide between four bowls. Grate over a little cheese and tuck in.
For the pesto
80g drained sundried tomatoes in oil
2 tsp Turkish pepper flakes
The juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbsp. olive oil from the tomatoes
For the pasta
400g Rigati or pasta of your choice
1 tbsp olive oil
180g raw peeled king prawns
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic sliced
120ml double cream
60g baby spinach
A small handful of chopped basil leaves
Parmesan to serve