16:00 | Posted by Nim Headland | Category

First Post

I've just spent two hours failing to construct a pithy, inviting "Hello World!" so I think I'm just going to jump straight in with a recipe and a picture or two, and hang the rule book.

Quick fire details:
I'm Nim, 23, from Berkshire (Superbia!) currently living in deepest, darkest, muddiest North Devon (affectionately known as Rural Hell). I like cooking. So here's a fab recipe for Linguine Gamberi.

I first ate this at a popular Italian chain restaurant of the sort that I frequent. It's a kind of arrabiata (angry) sauce only without the invasive red-pepper taste they sometimes have. It manages to be both warming and summery and lends itself to a really dry white wine. It's really easy and looks special on the plate, so is perfect for learner cooks like me.

For four people, you want to get yourself:
2 tbsp olive oil
A medium white onion, chopped
A couple of fat cloves of garlic, crushed. If this seems excessive, by all means just use the one. I am a garlic hound.
Two red chillis, very finely chopped. Remove the seeds and pith depending on your heat tolerance.
A tin of Italian chopped tomatoes
A splash of balsamic vinegar (not your best one)
500g linguine pasta
Some large prawns. You will know how many you want to eat, but about 6 prawns per person seems right. I used a bag of frozen tiger prawns, but this recipe is even better with super-fresh king prawns or even langoustines if you have the time to fiddle with them.
A handful fresh basil leaves, torn.

Heat your oil in a large pan. A wok is perfect, if unconventional. Fry your onion until golden, about four mins. Add the crushed garlic and chillis and stir until fragrant. Chuck in your tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Simmer like this for 10 mins or so while the vinegar taste cooks out and the sauce thickens. While this is happening, put your linguine on. It takes a little less time than spaghetti, about 7-8 mins. Taste it.

Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning. Mine wanted pepper. I wouldn't salt it, but lots would. A pinch of sugar could go in to lift the flavour of the tomatoes, but I think the balsamic does a good job of this. Add the prawns (defrosted, natch. If yours are raw, I would fry them separately in a little oil, garlic and a very few chilli flakes until pink and then add them to the sauce at this point) Stir said prawns through your simmering sauce until properly warmed through and then add your torn basil leaves, reserving a few small whole ones for decoration if that's your thing. Drain your cooked linguine and plate (invest in tongs!) adding a nice dollop of sauce on top. Artistically scatter with basil leaves, if you want. My final flourish was a whole dried red chilli, to look at rather than eat, but it did make me smile. I like parmasan on this, although the cheese/seafood debate is a controversial one amongst purists. Serve with a dark green salad, and some crusty bread for the juices if you're really hungry.


joyknitt said...

sounds scrummy, perhaps you've found your niche, the new delia!

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