Thursday, 30 May 2013

Squid Ink Spaghetti with Prawn and Vodka


I know it's only black, but the colour of this spaghetti always makes the dish a delight. I can't imagine marrying it up with anything other than prawns or mussels, something from the sea. This sauce has a little vodka in it which though subtle, does bring an edge to the finished dish.

For the sauce you will need;
400g of raw prawn
1 small onion or a banana shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2og of unsalted butter
200ml of white wine
2 tablespoons of chopped tomatoes, (I used tinned)
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
2 tablespoons of vodka
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
A few strands of saffron
chopped chives to garnish


Have a large pot of water heating to boil the pasta.
Begin by slicing the prawns lengthways, this allows you to de-vein the prawns but also the smaller size pieces makes eating the dish that much better.  Begin cooking the pasta, follow the packet instructions but it's usually around 10 minutes, enough time to cook the sauce. In a large pan fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil and butter until they become translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes on a gentle heat. Add the wine and vodka and cook until nearly all the liquid has reduced, add the tomatoes, sugar, saffron, creme fraiche and seasoning and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes, finally add the prawns and cook through for a couple of minutes, just until they turn pink, drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water to slacken off the sauce if needed, I usually find it does and the slightly starchy hot water of the pasta cooking is perfect. Turn the drained pasta into the sauce, stir through briefly to ensure the sauce is evenly distirbuted and serve with a garnish of chopped chives.

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