From a young age I’ve always loved seafood, and more often than not, whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I’ll have a starter or a main course which is seafood-related. Even though it’s winter, and absolutely freezing in the UK, I still can’t let go of my desire to have Mediterranean-inspired dishes. I don’t often enjoy heavy and rich foods, and so whenever I want to indulge in my pasta craving, I try to make something from scratch which not only contains fresh ingredients, but that tastes just as fresh as well. This recipe is light-weight and focuses on enjoying the natural flavours of each of the ingredients which are enhanced by the seasoning.
- 400g ripe tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 pack of prawns
- A few cherry tomatoes
- A few jalapeños
- A few spring onions
- Salt & pepper
- 1 lemon
On a medium-to-high heat, put some garlic oil into a non-stick pan (be careful not to burn the oil!).
Chop up your onion, and place into the heated garlic oil and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down to a medium heat.
While your onions are cooking, take your large tomatoes and remove the stalks. Gently slice a cross into the top of the tomatoes where the stalk has been taken out. Place the tomatoes in a big jug or heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave for about a minute.
Carefully remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and skin them. Once the skins are removed, cut each tomato into quarters. On a plate (to make sure you’re keeping all the seeds and the juice) de-seed each quarter. Once de-seeded chop the remaining tomato flesh roughly into 1cm chunks. Don’t be too particular about getting the chunks even!
Place the tomatoes into the non-stick pan with the onions and stir.
Put a sieve over the top of your onion-tomato mixture. Put the remaining tomato seeds and juice into the sieve and with a metal spoon try a push through as much juice as possible into the non-stick pan.
Grate in the garlic clove and stir sufficiently. Season with salt and pepper.
Allow the mixture to cook on a low heat for about 40 mins. This sauce can be used immediately – alternatively, it will last in the fridge for a few days!
Chop up as many cherry tomatoes and jalapeños as you’d like (I’d put in A LOT LESS than you’d think you’d want!) and mix them into the tomato sauce to allow them to heat up. My suggestion is to chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and the jalapeños in half (the ones I got were fairly small, so you’d might prefer to chop them into quarters instead).
Measure out as much spaghetti as you’d like (80g dry per person is a standard portion) and boil for the necessary time. While the pasta is cooking, put as many prawns as you’d like onto some kitchen roll. It’s important to soak up any moisture on the prawns as otherwise they won’t fry properly – they’ll more than likely boil if they’re put in the pan really damp!
Heat up some garlic oil in a non-stick pan at a high temperature and then put in the prawns. By allowing each side of the prawn to cook without moving it will give the prawns an amazing caramelised look and taste. Once the prawns are done, put them to one side.
Chop up about 5 spring onions and mix them into the tomato sauce.
Once cooked, drain the spaghetti and place it back into the pan that it was cooked in.
In order to sufficiently and easily mix the sauce into the spaghetti, the best thing to do is to lift the spaghetti with a…. utensil and place some of the sauce, and some of the prawns, underneath. Repeat this motion until all the sauce and prawns are thoroughly mixed into the spaghetti.
Tear up some basil and place some lemon at the side and you’re good to go! Enjoy!