Freshwater marron has a delicate flavour that can often be overpowered if treated the same way as its more robust crayfish cousin. Harness the subtle flavour of fennel to enhance this delicacy.
Serves 2-3 INGREDIENTS
Flesh of 1-2 cooked marron, torn or cut into chunks
½ pkt fresh lasagne sheets, torn roughly into strips (like rags)
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)
12 cherry tomatoes
2 Tb lemon juice
100ml extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Reserved fennel fronds
Fresh basil leaves
Heat a medium-large frying pan to smoking hot with 1 tsp of the extra virgin olive oil. Set a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Add cherry tomatoes to the frying pan and toss until just scorched. Remove from pan and set aside.
Allow the pan to cool briefly, lower heat to medium then add 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil and sliced fennel. Sauté for approx. 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Turn the pan to low and add the lemon juice, remaining extra virgin olive oil and crushed fennel seeds.
Stir briefly then add the marron and cherry tomatoes.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to mix and gently warm through – no more cooking is needed at this stage.
While the marron mixture is warming through cook pasta for 3-4 minutes. Drain and toss marron mixture through, scatter over fennel fronds and torn basil leaves and serve immediately.
· Serve with crusty bread for mopping the flavoured oil, and a simple green salad.
· If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can crush the fennel seeds on a board with a rolling pin.
· Add as much marron as you like to the recipe – quantity given is a guide only.
Recipe, styling and photography by Harriet Harcourt.