Fusilli pasta is a spiral variety of pasta which is available in wholewheat, plain and in different colours. My love for this variety of pasta is at par with penne.Just as penne pasta holds a creamy, thick or robust sauce well in the hollow of its cylindrical shape, fusilli captures the sauce in its ridges, twists and turns of its spirals. That is why it goes great with any light pesto sauce which has oil in it equally well as a thick, creamy sauce.
For me the biggest part of the love for pasta is in its ease of execution. If you are bored or are familiar only with tomato based sauces for any pasta dish, this is a good place to start.
I have used a basil and cashew nut pesto sauce, along with cooked prawns, asparagus, sweetcorn and pancetta. Asparagus gives it a crisp freshness to this dish and is a plus if you are conscious about eating healthy. If you are preparing asparagus for the first time, fear not, for I have linked simple easy ways of trimming and prepping this wonder grass from the spruce Eats! I like adding diced pancetta, for it gives this dish an umami which lifts it to another level. But this ingredient is purely optional and can be easily replaced with chicken or completely avoided. It is a pretty dish and tasty supper too...be prepared to get lots compliments from your diners, 'cause I do! Enjoy it with a glass of dry white wine or if you are not a wine person, on it's own perched in front of the TV.
Here's the recipe...
Prep time: 10mins
Cook time: 20mins
200g dry Fusilli pasta
190g of pesto sauce
100g cooked prawn
10 -15 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2''
100g canned sweetcorn
50g diced pancetta (optional)
1tsp dried mixed italian herbs (mix of oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram)
1/2tsp dried red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp crushed peppercorn
Salt for seasoning and for boiling pasta
Grated grana padano or parmesan cheese
1tsp oil cooking oil
Cook the fusilli pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, and a couple of tbsps oil, following instructions on the pack. Usually about 9mins to 11mins, depending on how 'al dente' you want your pasta to be.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, blanch the asparagus , microwave the sweetcorns for 1.5 minutes, and keep aside.
Fry the pancetta in a hot saute pan with a bit of oil ( pancetta will release oil) for about 4-6mins, keep aside.
In the remaining oil in the pan, saute the blanched asparagus, sweetcorns with 1/2tsp mixed herbs and 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, salt for a couple of minute. Add the cooked prawns and heat through. Turn the heat off.
The pasta will be cooked by now, drain and add it to the prawn and veg mix.
Add the pesto sauce, rest of the mixed herb, crushed pepper corn and toss evrything together with soft hands.
Serve in pasta bowls with a generous sprinkle of grated cheese on top.