Trofie pasta recipe with watercress, dill and prawns


Watercress is something of a springtime superfood. Make the most of the season’s bounty with our delicious trofie pasta dish. Serve with a watercress and dill pesto and pan-fried prawns for a quick and delicious dinner.

The fresh, tender green leaves of the watercress plant are teeming with goodness. They’re full of vital nutrients such as iron, calcium, iodine and folic acid, as well as many vitamins and beta-carotene. In other words – well worth incorporating into your salads! What’s more, watercress weight for weight surprisingly contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than a banana.

Prawns are teeming with protein and are great for supporting midlife health. Prioritising protein and good fats in our meals can help us to maintain a healthy diet, and leave us feeling fuller for longer. What’s more, prawns also contain a number of helpful vitamins and minerals, including iodine. We need iodine for proper thyroid function and brain health, yet many of us are deficient.

This pasta dish is best served hot with an extra squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

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  • 80g watercress
  • 10g dill
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 60g pine nuts, toasted
  • 55g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • 1 and a 1/2 lemons, zest and juice of 1, plus 1/2 to serve
  • 200g trofie pasta (or other short pasta)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 10 large, good-quality prawns, de-veined with the head removed
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  1. To make the pesto, put the watercress, dill, one clove of garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, five tablespoons of oil, basil, and zest and juice of one lemon into a food processor and blitz to your desired consistency. Set the pesto aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in a pan of well-salted boiling waer, until al dente. Drain and return to the pasta pan, reserving a splash of the pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to a large pan and heat until it begins to foam. Add the prawns and one clove of crushed garlic, toss in the mixture for about five minutes or until the prawns turn pink.
  4. Put your pesto into the pan with the pasta, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water. Season well with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta into two dishes, placing the prawns on top of each and drizzling the prawn-flavoured oil over top. Serve immediately with an extra squeeze of lemon juice.