Monday 19 August 2013

Super-speedy Sinhalese linguine prawns

As much as I love (chicken or beef) stir-fries, some days I just fancy something "different" in that department - and that's where this fantastically easy, delicious and totally affordable recipe comes in:

It can be made in 10 minutes and it's from the brilliant Ainsley Harriott  - the star of the 90s "Ready Steady Cook" programme where he used to create magic dishes from, say, a tin of pilchards, a banana, a packet of lime jelly and a bag of oats (on a good day) - and whom I still rate very, very much as a brilliant "home cook chef" - but who, sadly, seems to have been ousted by the slew of new cooks/chefs in the last 10 years or so...

But to the recipe: when reading this you may think it's all an unfortunate mish-mash of clashing ingredients but trust me it IS not - it all comes together wonderfully in an explosion of flavours so please give it a try!

(Serves 2)
200g dried linguine
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 a bunch of spring onions, finely chopped, or 1/2 a small(ish) onion
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp (mild) curry paste (I use Sharwood's or Patak's)
1 tbsp each of chopped coriander, mint and parsley, plus extra coriander to garnish
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
ca 180 ml (12 tbsp) of the pasta cooking water
225g peeled uncooked prawns (ca 10 each)*

Cook the linguine as per packet instructions until al dente. Drain and cover while reserving the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the onions and garlic and fry until softened. Add the curry paste and fry for 30 seconds.

Throw in the prawns and quickly fry until they are mainly pink. Add all the herbs, the lemon zest and the cooking liquor. Mix to heat through, then add the lemon juice.

Add the pasta and toss with the curried prawn mixture. Serve garnished with the extra coriander.

*I buy Aldi or Lidl's frozen jumbo prawns for this - at €4.49/4.99 per 500g bags they are almost half the price of other supermarkets prawns - but even bigger than some of the more expensive ones!
I often add half a cup or so of left-over vegetables before the prawns - whatever is lurking in the fridge (carrots, peppers, mange-touts etc) - but all chopped up finely into julienne strips.