How the mighty have fallen. Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics, is currently so hard up that it cancelled all its domestic athletics events this year. At the time of writing, they’ve gained one bronze medal in London: insert your own joke about having to sell it to pay for the flight home here.
The original plan for tonight involved a two hour cook. When I was still at work at 7.30pm that started to seem somewhat impractical. After a long day, the kind of pasta dish that you can knock together in half an hour is where it’s at, and this one fits that bill.
The recipe is from “Jamie does…” and it stuck in my mind because, as the man himself says, you don’t really think of pasta being part of the Greek diet. I’m still a bit sceptical about it to be honest but on the other hand it hit so many buttons for me: pasta – yes! Big juicy prawns – yes! Garlic – yes! Chilli – yes! Authentic or not, it’s fresh, tasty and manages to be speedy and luxurious all at once.
Shellfish Pasta for two
Using a heavy-bottomed pan, fry a small chopped shallot, crushed clove of garlic and a finely sliced red chilli in olive oil to soften but not brown – they will colour slightly from the oil seeping out of the chilli. Add a couple of handfuls of roughly chopped cherry tomatoes and a half glass of white wine and turn the heat right up – reduce down until the mixture starts to look thick and then throw in your big juicy cooked prawns. Immediately remove it from the heat and place a lid over the top to keep warm.
Cook your pasta of choice – I use Sainsbury’s own Free From penne for me and any “normal” fusilli for B, mostly so that they’re clearly different – in well salted boiling water to al dente, drain and return to the pan. Divide the sauce between the two pastas (if you’re only using one kind of pasta you can simply toss the pasta into the pan with the sauce in), along with a big glug of good extra virgin olive oil, some grated lemon zest and a few squeezes of lemon juice. Serve in warmed bowls and scatter liberally with freshly chopped parsley. Have a green salad with it.
Yes. Two kinds of pasta. That’s quite literally the most effort I ever go to to in terms of cooking separate dishes. Not really a hardship, is it?