Prawns a la Shopping Day
(simply scampi redefined?)
An exercise in timing and organization, this meal is prepared in three basic steps.
Hint: The idea is to have the linguine, the warm and steamy veggie mixture and the prawns all piping hot and ready to eat at the same time, without overcooking anything.
In a large pasta serving bowl (which you will ultimately bring to the table) place:
- medium sized tomato (chopped, one per person) and sprinkle with
- dill weed (enough to lightly cover all of the chopped tomato pieces)
Next, prepare the mirepoix and the linguine in two separate cooking pans.
Steam in a shallow frying pan, using fresh water:
- carrot (ovals: thinly sliced at angle and then halved)
- celery (thinly sliced or chopped, as you please)
- white onion (thinly sliced and halved or chopped, as you please)
and if you like, add some sliced or thinly chopped:
- green pepper
season with sea salt, parsley, thyme, bay leaf
be lazy and season the steaming vegetables with Spike seasoning :)
Simultaneously, prepare the pasta. We use linguine cooked in water (we don’t put salt in the water, but you may add a few pinches of sea salt if you like) --- measure out a serving of dry pasta noodles per person, depending upon how many you will feed.
Drain linguine and steamed vegetables and place both in the pasta bowl containing the dilled tomatoes. Carefully and thoroughly mix the warm pasta and veggies together with the chopped tomatoes in the large pasta bowl, ensuring that the seasonings are equally distributed among the noodles and veggies.
Place the heaping full pasta bowl on the table.
While the mirepoix and linguine are cooking, in a large cast iron frying pan (which you will also ultimately bring directly to the table), combine the following to make a nice sauté base:
- unsalted butter (a lot – perhaps 4 tablespoons or more)
- olive oil (enough to cover the base of the frying pan)
- white onion, thinly sliced (1/2 or less, depending upon your preference)
- cloves of garlic, peeled and halved (more or less, depending again upon preference)
When the ingredients have all been warmed, melted and fused, add:
- lemons: two fresh ones, juiced and free of all seeds
- prawns: ½ pound (or more if you are really hungry) large, fresh, deveined prawns with shells and tails removed
Once the prawns are happily simmering in the buttery oil, pour the juice of fresh lemons over them as they steam.
Sauté the prawns only until they have warmed, turned pinkish and have curled into pretty medallions. Bring the hot skillet to the table with a large serving spoon. Have your guests ladle the hot garlicky prawns over the pasta and vegetables, taking enough of the butter/lemon sauce to coat the noodles. Serve with sourdough bread, which is great for dipping in the skillet’s liqueur.
At the table, we like to eat this steamy fresh combination in a shallow, individual pasta serving bowls. This way, each person may decide how many prawns, how much butter, the amount of onion / garlic, he or she would like to consume and in what combination. The large pices of onion and halved garlic cloves look pleasantly rustic in the presentation as well as imparting a lovely fragrance and flavor but can easily be avoided during dining, if a guest so choses.
A sprinkling of finely grated or thinly shaved Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of Tabasco on a few of your enormously tender and delicious prawns might be a nice garnish, as well.
For a beverage, a fume blanc might be a delicious compliment or perhaps simply a glass of ice water with lemon.
In whatever way you choose to combine the various parts of this meal, I wish you bon appetite!
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