Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prawns and Penne Pasta under Tomato Basil Sauce

I had thought earlier in the day that fish would be nice for dinner. When Fern was chatting on the phone with Ryan he asked me what we were having for dinner. "Prawns and Pasta?" I offered.
"Is there enough for Ryan?"
"Ryan's coming."
Somehow I knew this. Maybe I'm becoming "The Psychic Cook!"
Or more likely, Psychotic Cook!

In any case, it was a chance to try another tomato sauce.  My previous post about making sauce from a can of tomato paste and chicken stock resulted in an acceptable sauce but it reminded me of Prego brand sauce. While it certainly has it's place, I would prefer a purer, more intense tomato flavour. So for this meal I tried a can of San Remo brand Organic Diced Tomatoes. It has a nice label, so at least that much is done well.

I started by dicing an onion and getting it sweating.  I peeled, crushed and diced three cloves of garlic and added them to the onion to sweat.  When the onions had a little colour I added the can of diced tomatoes and brought it up to a simmer. I added salt and black pepper to taste. Then I realized I forgot to cook the prawns so I got out a frying pan and  added a tablespoon of butter.  I added half the prawns and salted them. Too many prawns in the pan will create too much water and they will boil instead of fry. When they had colour on one side I turned them over to do the other side.  I don't want them cooked through because they'll finish cooking when they go in the sauce. Take the pan off the heat for now.

I got the pasta going and kept the sauce simmering.  I chopped up the the top leaves of three basil plants  (6-10 leaves) and grated some fresh parmesan cheese.  A minute or two before the pasta was ready I took tomato sauce and put it in the frying pan to scrub the prawn flavour into the sauce. Then put it, prawns and all, in the sauce pan. I added the basil to the sauce and strained the pasta.  

I plated the pasta and covered with sauce and each person got eight large prawns. Fresh grated parmesan on top and serve.  It was delicious. Ryan said it was the best one so far. That's why I invited him!

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