Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prawns and Pasta with Greek Salad

Last minute meal again. It's pool opening, deck cleaning, generally running around outside time so I got started late 6:19, but I had this on the plate at 7:05. Here's how to make it. Defrost six to eight each frozen raw prawns in cold water. I remove the shells by placing the back of a knife across the meat/tail boundary and pulling the meat out. Dice an onion or shallot and sweat it in olive oil till translucent then add the prawns with salt. Just cook the prawns till they have colour outside but are still raw inside, they will finish cooking in the sauce.

Slice and dice 3 inches of English cucumber. These long slender cucumbers have sweet skin so require no peeling and add a wonderful dark green to the salad. Dice up two tomatoes or one large one. Add one tablespoon olive oil and one or two teaspoons white wine vinegar. I should have added some diced onion or chives but forgot. Add half teaspoon salt. Toss the salad to coat every thing. Crumble feta cheese into bowl, toss quickly and serve. Stirring too much after adding feta makes it break up and look less appetizing. 

Put 2 cups penne pasta into boiling, salted water. Cooks in about 12 minutes. 

Back to the sauce, if the pan is dry add some oil and dust the pan with flour. Just a little, too much flour makes a sauce pasty. Cook the flour taste off for half a minute or so but not till it browns. Add 1/2 cup beef stock and quarter cup water. Stir in 3/4 can (5.5oz/156ml) tomato paste (I'll use remainder tomorrow). Add water till sauce has thinned enough. Too much water turns it into soup and it has to be boiled down. Add a teaspoon of dried basil or better, a tablespoon of fresh. Add the prawns back in and heat for a minute or so then drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss everything to coat and serve on warmed plates. Sprinkle grated parmesan over top.

If salad is served with the entrée we go from pasta to salad and eat it all. If we stop eating and serve the salad, it sits there.

This is fast and tasty.

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