Sometimes I don’t want to peel prawns – at lunch yesterday for example – when there’s a child who wants me to peg a cape on them, or a baby who needs a dummy replacement or a pat. My hands can’t do it. So I sat there, like a scruffy princess and Alvy peeled them for me. It’s ok because I reciprocated by grabbing some cold soba noodles and dressing them with sesame oil, tamari, lemon, salt, pepper, picking the avocado out of the salad and adding to the noodle pile with the prawns and giving that to him. Or maybe I ate it. Can’t remember.
But tonight with children sleeping I’m happy to peel with whole bag next to the sink.
Rummaging around to see what to make. There’s no fresh bread for a prawn sandwich. I’ve got a carrot, a leek, some spring onions, a bag of baby spinach. Maybe some fetta, and a couple of little tomatoes and a small bowl of toasted pinenuts. There’s probably some pasta and rice. Pasta wins.
It’s the make-it-up-as-you-go-along pasta. My absolute favourite.
- Spaghetti or whatever pasta you have
- Thinly sliced garlic (a few cloves)
- Chopped spring onion (a few stalks)
- Small jar of anchovies
- Spoonful of Sambal Olek or chilli paste
- Juice & rind of a small very juicy lemon
- Handful of toasted pinenuts
- Few handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- 1 chopped tomato
- Handful of crumbled soft feta cheese
- Olive oil
- Put your pasta into a big boiling salty pot. Drain when just cooked and splash with olive oil until everything else is ready.
- Put the garlic and white bits from the spring onion in a pan of olive oil and set the heat to medium. When they get all brown and crispy, fish them out and drain in a dish with a paper towel.
- Next, the anchovies go into the oil and get squished with the wooden spoon. (I’m stoked to use the little sharp pointy fork with the bone handle I got from Rozelle markets years ago. That’s its job – getting stuff from small long jars that a teaspoon won’t fit into. Like capers and anchovies. It’s also good at separating and rolling smoked salmon slices.)
- Add spoonful of sambal chilli paste and a stir. Add the lemon rind and juice. This should be a beautiful bubbling paste by now.
- Now the pasta gets added to the pan and tossed about in the hot anchovy mixture. It drinks up all the salty spicy stuff. All coated and lovely. (You could just eat this as is it. With Parmesan maybe.)
- Chuck in the prawns to warm through. Stir in baby spinach, crumbled feta, tomatoes, garlic and spring onion crunchies & toasted pine nuts.
It shouldn’t need salt, but it will love some black pepper. Tangy, spicy, salty, fishy, moody, sweet, fresh and wonderful.