Sunday, March 3, 2013

Prawns in Tomato Basil Sauce on Fresh Pasta

Still home alone, dinner for one again.  I was in the mood for seafood and it was time for pasta so I decided to use fresh tomatoes to make a sauce and put it on fresh pasta. I'll see how fast I can whip up pasta for one.

Turns out it still takes about 45 minutes of solid work.  Two people working together could cut down the time to probably 15 minutes and make enough for a table. 

Pasta for One (or maybe two if the eggs are huge like my chickens lay)

2/3 cup flour
1 large egg

Make a well in flour and drop in the egg. Starting in the center, move a fork in a circular motion picking up the flour until it is all absorbed. If the dough is still wet add more flour till the dough is not sticky. Cover and chill 25 minutes.  Start rolling the dough and dusting it with flour on each pass. The dough should  not be sticky and should have a velvety feel. When the dough is thin enough, cut it to length and run each piece through the cutter, then dust the noodles with flour so they don't stick together. I used to try to cut to length after the noodles were made, which is really hard to do.

My grocery store has two kinds of frozen raw prawns.  Two pounds for $19.99 and two pounds for $16.99.  I tried a bag of the expensive ones when they were on sale for $10 and they were delicious. Neither was on sale so I decided to try the $16.99 prawns. (That $3 difference as all the flavor, the cheaper prawns had none.)  I put a serving in cold water to defrost quickly.

Tomato Basil Sauce for one

3 tomatoes
1 shallot diced
6 basil leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
mixed ground pepper
1 ounce chicken stock

First I put some oil in the sauce pan and added the diced shallot. After a minute I added the garlic and sweated them both.  Add a little oil and butter and the prawns.  Cook the prawns to almost done then remove them from the pan.  If they stay in the sauce while it cooks they turn to rubber.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and chicken stock to the pan and bring to boil, turn down to a fast simmer and boil off some of the water.  When it's lost enough water put the lid on, turn the heat down and simmer it as long as possible. A few minutes before serving the sauce add the basil and prawns so they finish cooking in the sauce. 

My pasta took about 3 minutes to cook. I put the cooked pasta in the sauce pan, mixed and turn out onto a warm plate.  I dusted the pasta with fresh grated parmesan and sat down to eat.  The prawns were an immediate disappointment.  No flavor.  To add insult to the injury the tomato sauce wasn't nearly as flavorful as Fern's made from his own fresh tomatoes.  I think I'll keep in mind that I'd like to have 50 500ml jars of tomatoes canned by fall. That will keep us in delicious tomato sauce all year. If Fern said at the beginning of the year he wanted to make 50 cans of tomato sauce I would have said he was crazy and I'd be wrong again.

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