Fish is the Dish: Whole Wheat Penne with Prawns

It’s always a treat when staying near, or on the coast, to pop into a local fishmonger to pick up some of the freshest fish that you can get your hands on. We spent the second week of our Easter holidays staying near the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. On our last day, we fancied picking up some fresh prawns from Llyn Seafoods for a simple supper. Had the spring weather been a little kinder, we would have most likely made some prawn skewers to throw on the barbecue. As it happens, it was a little rainy, so I made a big plate of whole wheat penne with prawns instead.

Penne with Prawns

This recipe is very adaptable – if you don’t like mushrooms, don’t add them. You can swap the courgette for peas, or perhaps some asparagus, which should be coming into season in the UK towards the end of April. I added a tiny hint of chilli, but you could add more heat and also some fresh cream; it was our last day, after all. We’ve also switched to whole wheat pasta over white pasta, but any pasta works fine in this dish. Prawns take just a minute or two to cook in a hot pan – don’t forget the garlic and a little lemon zest to pick up the flavours.

As part of the Fish is the Dish #HealthyHappyHearts campaign, we’ve been making an effort to eat at least two portions of fish a week. Adding a handful of king prawns to a dish, such as pasta, a stir-fry or even a risotto is a great way to add extra protein and omega-3 to your diet and they are a great standby for the freezer as they are quick to defrost.

Penne with Prawns

Here’s the recipe

Whole Wheat Penne with Prawns

From Ren Behan Food | | Main Dishes | Italian

Fresh omega-3 rich king prawns, healthy wholewheat pasta and fresh veggies make for a delicious supper


4 servings


  • 250 g whole wheat penne pasta, or pasta of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large courgettes, washed, diced
  • 200 g mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded
  • 200 g fresh, uncooked, king prawns
  • Freshly ground pepper and sea salt
  • 200 ml fresh double cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 50 g grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pasta pan of salted water to the boil, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (7-10 minutes)
  2. In the meantime, gently heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the diced courgettes and cook for five minutes. Then add the mushrooms, garlic and chilli and cook for another five minutes.
  3. Add the prawns and cook for a few minutes until pink and cooked through.
  4. Drain the pasta (taking out one cup of pasta water to add to the sauce)
  5. Put the drained pasta back in the large pasta pan. Add in the cooked courgette, mushroom and prawn mixture. Add the cup of pasta water, a good twist of salt and pepper, double cream and lemon zest. Stir everything together well.
  6. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and serve straight away.

I’m adding this to Simple and in Season, as the prawns were fresh and in season – hosted here this month.

Don’t forget to join in!

Simple and in Season

With thanks to Fish is the Dish for a voucher towards our fish for the week as part of the #HealthyHappyHearts campaign. You can also find some of the Healthy Happy Hearts Menus here and follow @FishistheDish on Twitter for more tips.

How were your Easter holidays?



    • says

      Thanks Caroline, we’ve hardly noticed the difference but I’m sure there are some great health benefits to switching to whole wheat :-)

  1. says

    Looks yummy, Ren. I love the Llyn peninsula too, we had a great time there last year, stayed at Aberdaron. The seafood was fantastic too – we kept seeing the fisherman going out to check his pots and ending up getting him to leave an incredibly fresh and very reasonable lobster by our cottage door. He was very trusting too, we left the money for it behind the bar at the pub!

    • says

      Ooh we love Aberdaron, it can be a bit windy, but nice and they have lovely afternoon tea there in the cafe by the beach. How lovely to come home and find a fresh lobster by the door!

  2. says

    Lovely recipe Ren, I must get going on my Happy Healthy Hearts!

    And beautiful photos, I usually go even shallower than f/3.2. The more photography I do, do more my style develops and the more I realise I have so much more to learn!

    • says

      Thanks Helen, yes I agree, always something else to learn. A photography course is the next thing on my list! Hope you enjoy your fish, too xx

  3. says

    Living in a holiday resort I shouldn’t moan about Easter hols too much! For us it was the last of the balmy weather, lots of sitting outside for evening meals and a lovely roast lamb round at a friend’s house. My teens are studying for exams and I carry on working so not much of a break. It was good that the school hols were on though – most times Easter is just a normal day here. Lovely dish Ren – what lens are you using to take your pics these days. I like the depth of field here.

    • says

      Hi Sally, glad you had a lovely time. Lens is a 50mm on a NIkon D300, f/3.2 – which is quite shallow for me! Usually I go up to f/5 – still learning how to change my settings!

  4. Liz Thomas says

    You were on the Llyn!!! You must have been frozen!

    It was uncharacteristically cold here too and lots of rain. Mostly spent time in the office working. Got a lot of hopeful projecs on at the moemnt. Having a late Easter lunch with friends on Sunday. Trying my hand at a sous vide silverside in a slow cooker. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Belated Happy Easter

    • says

      Hi Liz, yes we were, by Llanbedrog, before Abersoch. We were ok, not too cold. A little rain but surprisingly quite a few sunny days. Love the food there. Hope you had a lovely Easter, too and are warming up! We’re staying iin Cameas Bay in November on Anglesey! THAT will be cold!

      • Liz Thomas says

        Abersoch! That brings back memories — sailing in the so called summer and kidding ourselves we were enjoying it!!

        And Cemaes Bay — My first job was a secretary with Taylor Woodrow on the construction of the Wylfa Nuclear Power Station.

        Do you know about Deri Mon Smokery at City Dulas? North East of the island going back towards Menai Bridge.
        If you do not know them then you really must make a visit. David McCreadie got into the businss almost by accident when they found an old smoke house during the rennovations works on the propery. Now he has a great business and has won awards. His smoked Welsh butter is amazing!

        If you do go there please tell him that Liz and Graham from Macau say Hi!


        • Ren Behan says

          Love Abersoch. And this year we’re really hoping to discover some more of Anglesey, perhaps on our way to North Wales. I’ll definitley check out that smokery!

          • Liz Thomas says

            There’s a little winery at Llanbadrig (not far from Cemaes) where there is a microclimate. Tried their whites a few years ago which were quite good. There’s also one on the south of the island near Ty Croes but I’ve yet to be able to find it!

            If you like Goat Cheese there a boutique goat dairy just a litttle bit along the road from Derimon Smokery.