Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prawns, Penne Pasta and Butter Lettuce Salad

I haven't made spaghetti for weeks! That's never happened before and this is one of the reasons.  My favourite Mezzetta Tomato Basil sauce is unavailable so I've had to innovate.  Mitchell's grocery store has a nice organic tomato sauce from Tree Of Life products.  It's the second best tomato sauce I've come across. The Mezzetta is just a little brighter tasting. Probably slightly more acid. Tree of Life is denser, I don't have to cook off the water before serving it, so it's better from that perspective.

I started with a shallot diced and sweating in the pan.  To that I added a teaspoon of ground garlic (I was out of fresh). Next I added a pad of butter and the raw prawns with a little salt.  I cook them till they change colour then turn them over. I take them from the pan before they are done.  They finish cooking in the sauce and don't turn to rubber if you don't over do them. Add the sauce.  The prawns go back in a minute before serving so they finish cooking.

I washed and spun the butter lettuce. One tomato diced and two inches of cucumber thinly sliced.  For a dressing I used 1 tablespoon of walnut oil (any good tasting oil will do) and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Salt and black pepper. Whisk and toss the salad in it. 

I cook the pasta for 12 minutes, a bit more than el dente. Serve the sauce and prawns over the pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan.  A meal that used to be a plate of spaghetti has matured into this tasty treat. A big improvement.

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