Spaghetti With Prawns, Tomato and Garlic

Here’s a quick and easy dish guaranteed to impress in both flavour and in ease. Pasta can be the quickest dish out of the blocks if you do all your prep work in advance. The way to succeed is to have everything at hand – ready to go it’s guaranteed to stop you rushing about like an idiot. This dish is sweet from the tomatoes and prawns with a hint of the ocean from the pasta cooking liquid and little hit of chilli right at the end. It’s pretty understated, but packed full of the right flavours. Could this be everything you’re looking for in a weekday dinner?

500g raw prawns (with shell)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 piece lemon peel (5cm)
250g fresh plum tomatoes (peeled, halved and seeded)
pinch of chilli flakes
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (finely chopped)

Clean the prawns then remove their shells and tails into a large saucepan. Devein the flesh and cut into 1/3 portions. Keep separate from the shells. Pour 2.5 litres of water over the shells and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer.

Meanwhile, heat a large deep frying pan with the oil over a low heat when just hot, add the garlic and lemon peel and let it gook very gently for 2 minutes until just coloured. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of chilli flakes and cook gently for 20 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for about a minute until juct cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and some salt & pepper. Cover the pan.

Remove the prawn shells from the heat and strain – retaining the liquid. Discard the shells, wipe out the pan and return the liquid. Add about 2 heaped teaspoons of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook as per the packet instructions minus 1 minute. Drain the pasta then quickly toss it into the large frying pan with the prawns. Turn the heat to high and cook the pasta, stirring continuously for a minute. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Serve in a big bowl with a little bit of lemon to squeeze over if you feel the need.

If you make it, let me know how you enjoyed it…

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