Monday night pasta. I wanted something simple that wouldn’t aggrivate my hangover. This was easy and very healing. After a big bowl I was ready for some alcohol. Luckily, I’d drank it all the night before. This serves 2 and can be adapted to suit pesky vegetarians.
15g Porcini mushrooms
12 raw king prawns
45g unsalted butter
75g pancetta or rindless smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 garlic clove (crushed)
4 fresh plum tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Penne pasta (however much you want to eat)
35g freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh basil (optional)
Soak the porcini mushrooms in a little water for about 20 minutes, then squeeze them dry and finely chop – set aside.
Melt half the butter in a pan and when it bubbles add the pancetta/bacon and stir fry over a medium heat until slightly crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir for about 5 minutes, remove from the pan and add to the pancetta/bacon.
Add the chilli and garlic to the pan and stir for a minute until the garlic turn slightly brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil and cook, stirring frequently for 15 minutes Add the prawns cook for 3-4 further minutes. Add the pancetta and bacon to the sauce and stir. Add salt if neccessary and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. If you want more spice add more chilli flakes gradually. Cook for another 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
Cook the penne according to the packet instructions. When ready, drain and return to the pan. Add the remaining butter then 1/2 the parmesan cheese. Pour in half the sauce and stir well. Spoon the pasta into bowls with a little more sauce and 6 prawns per person. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and if you’re feeling fancy a couple of fresh basil leaves.
NOTE: If you’re vegetarian and don’t want the bacon then add 10-15g chopped black olives at the end instead and ignore the directions on frying the bacon obviously.