Prawns and linguine in a tomato, chilli and garlic sauce
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- 150 g “fresh” linguine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2–3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 fresh red chilli*, finely sliced
- 210 g chopped tomatoes (I use Mutti™ brand tinned tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons of lime* juice
- 250 g peeled cooked prawns
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Iodised salt flakes
- Whole black peppercorns, crushed with a pestle in a mortar
- Hone your knives on a honing rod.
- Prepare everything ahead of time.
- Boil some salted water and add the prawn heads to add a little extra flavour to the water.
- Boil the prawn heads for about five minutes to extract the flavour from them. After five minutes, remove the prawn heads with a strainer or whatever tool you have that works.
- With the water in a rolling* boil, empty the packet of “fresh” linguine into the boiling water and cook according to the maker’s instructions for use.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet or wok and add the garlic and chilli.
- Cook the garlic and chilli for about a minute then add the lime juice and tomatoes.
- Cook for about 5 minutes on high heat until the sauce begins to bubble and has reduced slightly.
- Add in the prawns and heat them through, this should only take about 30 seconds. Don’t ruin them by overcooking them because that would be a tragedy of epic proportions.
- After the instructed cooking time, drain the spaghetti, add it to the tomato and prawn sauce, and then add some parsley. Toss everything together over low heat combining the spaghetti with the sauce.
- Transfer everything to a bowl and garnish with more parsley as well as some salt and pepper.
- The question that beckons is how to eat this meal. When I look at it, it looks like a noodle stir fry so do I grab a pair of chopsticks? In deference to Italian friends though, I went with a fork and a spoon.
Optional extra lobster meat
I was keen on a Moreton Bay bug (slipper lobster) but ended up with a small lobster tail. This tail had been frozen and was thawing when I bought it. I completed the thawing and then cooked it in some salted water for about 4 minutes. To stop overcooking the lobster meat, I plunged the cooked lobster tail into ice water.
I could have sliced the tail and combined it with the prawns, however, I chose to keep the lobster meat separate and ate it along with the meal adding a forkful of pasta and prawns to a slice of lobster meat.
- “Fresh” in this situation with the packet refrigerated linguine means not dry.
- Rolling or roiling boil? Roiling is an old word, so it’s suited to old farts rather than young people.
- Lime juice or lemon juice? I know many recipes suggest lemon juice, but I like the freshness of lime juice.
- Should you remove the seeds from the chilli? It’s really up to you. Last Saturday night, I ate a very hot chilli with my brother and his daughter on a dare. We all suffered. Our eyes watered. It felt like the mucosa in our buccal cavities was sloughing off. I was producing copious volumes of saliva. The pain lasted for about 30 minutes.