Many people have specific food phobias. Usually they’re based on bad experiences. Something along the lines of: I ate them before drinking way too much and saw them again at 2 in the morning in a very different form, I ate them when I broke up with my boyfriend and now they make me sad, I can’t eat them because they smell like old socks…you know, the usual.
Or sometimes it’s an unexplainable phenomenon.
Personally, I hate cucumber.
I know, I know, cucumbers don’t taste like anything, how can you hate them? Trust me, I’ve heard it.
But they do taste like something! Weird, slimy, icky something.
Thus, I avoid cucumbers, but I really have no valid reason.
Luckily, this dish has no cucumbers, but it does have ingredients that succeeded in making my roommate and boyfriend squirm.
My roommate doesn’t eat spaghetti. It’s one of those bad experience stories that I will spare you from so you don’t swear off spaghetti as well. And, my boyfriend hates prawns with all their googly eyes and creepy antennae attached.
So I decided to make spaghetti with chilli garlic prawns for our Sunday night dinner. Was I being mean on purpose? Well, of course not, how could you ever think that?
Okay, maybe a little.
In all seriousness, I actually amended the recipe so that they would both be able to eat in peace. We switched the spaghetti for fettuccine and I peeled all the prawns for my boyfriend. And we had a great dinner. Win win.
Pasta with chilli garlic prawns and rocket
A dozen large green prawns
Lemon zest from one lemon
Lemon juice from one lemon
1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
A pinch of dried oregano
A handful of Thai basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ½ cups rocket
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven on the grill or broil setting. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and arrange them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place them in the oven and roast them until they are tender, about 20 minutes.
Peel the shrimp, (as you like, if you like to peel them while you’re eating, you can, or you can peel everything but the tail, or you can peel the lot). Put them in a bowl and toss with the chopped chilli, half the lemon zest, oregano, Thai basil leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Put the pasta in a bowl of boiling, salted water and cook according to the package directions.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp in a single layer and sear on one side for two minutes.
Flip and sear another minute or two until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the tomatoes to the skillet.
When you drain the pasta, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and toss with the shrimp and tomato mixture. Squeeze some lemon juice in. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the cooked pasta and rocket.
Serve with parmesan cheese.