I've been having the odd pasta craving or two that comes and goes. It's not enough to make me set out to an Italian restaurant but it's annoying when I don't get what I want (as I'm sure it is for everyone).
The solution was to find a really simple pasta dish that I could whip up at home. I was leafing through 'Jamie's Italy' by Jamie Oliver and spotted this recipe for spaghetti with prawns and rocket (or, as it's called in Italian, 'spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola') which had really basic, fresh ingredients but boy, the photo sure looked appetizing.
I used fresh prawns for these, peeled with the tails left on, but you're welcome to use frozen prawns, as well as they're thawed first.
Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola
(Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket)
- 455g dried spaghetti
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1-2 dried red chilies, crumbled (I used dried red chili flakes)
- 400g peeled raw prawns
- 1 small wineglass of white wine
- 2 heaped tablespoons of sun-dried tomato puree, or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped
1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water, according to the directions on the packet.
2. Heat 3 glugs of olive oil in a large frying pan and toss in the garlic and chili. As the garlic begins to color, add the prawns and saute them for a minute.
3. Add the tomato puree and white wine and turn down the heat to simmer for a couple of minutes.4. When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce.
5. Squeeze in the lemon (might think about doing 1/2 at a time so you can control how sour/tangy the sauce is) and add half of the chopped rocket. Correct the seasoning.6. Divide the pasta between the plates and serve with the rest of the rocket leaves and a sprinkling of lemon zest.
This dish was so easy to do. I made up a big batch for dinner with my parents and there was praises all round (for the food, that is, not for me). I was trying to derail their misconception that pasta is always creamy and heavy. This pasta dish is light, fresh and flavorsome. It's the perfect example of a dish that lets the ingredients shine.
The tomato and lemon give a nice tanginess to the dish that is wonderfully offset by the peppery rocket.
Get good quality prawns and good quality sun-dried tomatoes. Use fresh lemon rather than bottled lemon juice. They make the world of difference.