I am a pretty well organised person. Too well organised, some might say. Often, I hear the family muttering of OCD as I arrange neat rows of tins in kitchen cupboards. I must have a list when I go shopping. I like to have it in ‘Notes’ on my phone so I can delete the items as I pop them into my trolley. Nothing left in the note means everything I need has been purchased. However, I have a blind spot. A big blind spot. My weeks’ thinking starts on Sunday (my usual blog post cooking day). As a result, I have everything planned for Sunday breakfast, Sunday’s Family Dinner and for evening meals for the early part of the following week. I do the shopping on Saturday morning. I have a dreadful habit of forgetting to get anything for Saturday evening. If I lived alone, this would not be a problem. However, I live with the Wife….
It’s usually around mid afternoon when she asks, in total innocence “What’s planned for dinner Love?”. I have resorted to “Dinner…? Oh, it’s a surprise.” Some few minutes later, I collect the car keys and bluster some excuse to go to the shops. Inconvenient as this is, it works pretty well. I get put under pressure. The Wife gets fed and there is only a small white lie between us. Last week, the wife broke her part of this unwritten contract. She didn’t ask about dinner. Not until it was too late for me to go and buy anything. I had to think and act quickly. I got lucky.
To put together Crab and Prawns in a Hot Tomato Sauce with Pasta, you will need:
- 8-10 prawns
- 8-10 crab toes
- 12-16 small tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- Good quality olive oil
- 4-6 cloves of garlic (2 bulbs of single bulb garlic)
- A big handful of rocket leaves
- A teaspoon of chili flakes
For the pasta
- A medium egg and the yolk of a second egg
- 110 grammes of “00” flour
To make the pasta, combine the egg and flour.
When combined, use the dough hook and beat for 10 minutes on low. Alternatively, knead the dough on a flat surface for about 10 minutes.
Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for a half an hour. Then slice the garlic up nice and small.
Heat some olive oil in a high sided pan and add the garlic. Get a good big pot of water on the boil for the pasta.
Add the prawns and cook them until they turn colour. This will not take long. Take them out of the pot and reserve.
Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste and chili flakes. Take some photos of the lovely colours.
Add the crab toes and turn down the heat. These are cooked already and only need to be warmed through.
The tomatoes should start to break down at this stage. This makes a bit more sauce. Roll out the pasta.
I use semolina to stop the pasta from sticking. This falls off the pasta in the cooking. I sliced the pasta into 2.5cm wide strips (pappardelle width).
Add the pasta to the boiling water.
Turn the heat up under the sauce. Add the prawns back in. Add the rocket.
Drain the pasta when it is still “al denté”. Add the pasta to the sauce.
Stir to combine.
Call the Wife in for her dinner….
We enjoyed this with a nice bottle of Spanish red wine. It was on hand and seemed to be a good choice. It was. I can’t remember what it was. I see Rick Stein doing this empty plate stuff on his TV shows of late. If it’s good enough for Rick, it’s good enough for me.
The Wife never noticed. She was delighted with the ‘surprise dinner’. In future, I’ll try to have my act together. I can’t get this lucky again.