This has become a simple goto meal once a week. It's easy, fast, inexpensive and tastes like a good restaurant made it. Start by running six prawns each under cold water into a bowl then let them sit in the water to thaw completely. I use raw, shell on black tiger prawns that have the shell split and prawn cleaned. Pull the shell back, put the back of a knife across the tail where the meat ends and pull the meat away from the shell.
Sweat a diced shallot and a couple of garlic cloves. Add the prawns with a little salt and turn as soon as the outside is cooked. We want to get colour and flavour on the outside while keeping the inside raw. Remove prawns from pan. They will finish cooking when they're put in the sauce just before serving.
Put a heaping teaspoon of flour in the pan and add oil if necessary to make a thick paste. Let the flour cook for a minute before adding 1/4 cup chicken stock. Add 1 can tomato paste and enough water to make a thick sauce. As it cooks down add more water to maintain the thickness of the sauce. Add two teaspoons dried basil or chopped fresh basil if it's available. Add salt and pepper to the sauce and make sure there is salt in the pasta water. I usually use penne pasta but spirals or macaroni work great too. Or spaghetti for that matter. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Plate and top with fresh grated parmesan.
Fern tore the lettuce up the for salad insisting that it won't turn brown at the edges if it's torn. Overnight the first night it didn't, if it goes one more day I'll be convinced. I slice cucumber up with the lettuce so I only have to cut up a tomato to make a salad.
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp rice wine vinegar
Whisk the vinaigrette and toss the salad in it. Serve with the pasta. This meal can be on the table in 30 minutes if you work fast and it cost less than $3 per person. Less than $2 if the prawns are on sale!