Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Basil Blast Penne Prawns

This is my usual prawns and pasta dish but this time pumped up a bit, by happy accident. I didn't have any onions so I only sweated one clove of garlic, then got colour on both sides of prawns, but left them raw in the centre. Removed prawns from pan. I got two cups of pasta going and whisked up a little vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette for two or three salads

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp canola or other oil
2 tsp vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil has a bitter after taste so I dilute it with another oil. The salt wipes out the remaining bitterness. The vinegar can be lemon juice or anything sour. The vinaigrette should have the sharpness of the acid without being sour. Types of vinegars can be changed, different oils used to achieve whatever tastes you can imagine. Flavours like mustard, horseradish, tomato, garlic and basil can be added alone or in combination. The end flavour is what matters, not the recipe, so experiment and don't be afraid to start again.

I have a big patch of basil that will die on the first chilly night so I harvested a big handful. All chopped up it was at least a cup. The pan was back on the burner, hot again, and I added a finely diced fresh red chili, sweated it a moment then added a 16oz - 473ml can of tomato sauce. I brought that to a simmer for a minute or two then added the prawns and less than 1/4 cup of butter. Bring back to a simmer and if the prawns are cooked add the basil and turn off the heat. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss it all to mix thoroughly and serve. Fresh grated parmesan on top. 

I tossed a bag of salad in the vinaigrette and sat down to eat. The prawns were perfect, not rubbery, and the sauce was in your face basil. I could still taste the prawns and garlic so it was a real treat. I had to ask Fern, "is it too BASIL?" But it's so good! I wolfed mine down. "No, it's really good!" 

The salad was a good source of fibre and roughage, unfortunately not a star on the flavour side. It was good but not my best. The pasta was my best so far. I would have to make the tomato sauce from scratch to do better and probably make fresh pasta too.

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