Thursday, 21 March 2013

So, we made it to post number 7 before I mentioned spaghetti. Now, it's not that I'm obsessed with spaghetti in particular, but I do loooove pasta. In case you're wondering, my blog isn't called Elizabetty Spaghetti because its all I eat, it is purely because it rhymed and then stuck in my head! Imaginative isn't it?

I've made this spaghetti lots and I always change it up, depending on what ingredients I have in stock. As you'll know from my other posts, I'm home from university for Easter at the moment so I will probably include a few recipes with some ingredients I wouldn't necessarily buy while at uni, however I'm sure I won't go overboard and start including caviar and champagne in each one so you'll be fine!

To make four relatively large portions (portion control isn't my forte) you'll need:
2 spring onions - chopped
1 chilli - de-seeded and finely chopped
4 mushrooms - sliced
1 onion - cut in half then sliced
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
4 anchovies - chopped
A jar of any tomato pasta sauce
1 heaped teaspoon of red pepper pesto (optional)
A couple of packs of cooked prawns
400g spaghetti - approx.
Rocket to serve

It seems like a lot, but I tend to have most of this stuff in stock all the time.

Start by chopping all your ingredients that need chopping so everythings ready. Pour a little olive oil into a saucepan and throw in your garlic first (give it a minute), then your spring onion and chilli (give that a few minutes), then your onion. Give it a few stirs so everything gets cooked and all the flavours mingle. Be careful when you first add the garlic as it burns very easily if the heat is too high, which will turn the garlic bitter and horrible.

Now, put on a pan of water and wait until its boiling. Once it is, add your spaghetti. Most chefs say to put a pinch of salt into the boiling water for all different reasons... some say it adds flavour, some say it increases the boiling point of water so your pasta cooks better, some say it stops the pasta sticking together/to the bottom of the pan. However, I've never noticed a difference if I include salt or if I don't. So my advice is to not include it. I would rather use that salt to add to my dish once its finished, and actually taste it. That may be frowned upon by "real" chefs but I'm a rebel with a cause, a cause of good, cheap food.

Spaghetti takes between 8-10 minutes to cook but check your packet just in case. I like mine slightly al dente so I always cook it for the minimum it says. While your pasta is boiling away, add the mushrooms until they soften a bit.

Now add the prawns. There is normally a bit of juice in the pack so pour that in too, it'll add extra flavour. Stir it all about until all the flavours mix up. Next, add your chosen sauce. Literally any will do, just make sure you like it. I used this Loyd Grossman one because that's what was in the cupboard. Stir it in so it heats up nicely.

Now add the chopped anchovies in. Most people will straight out say they hate anchovies however, when added to sauces, they make a really nice rich flavour. I have to say these were quite fishy ones and my fish-phobic Dad said he could taste them when he ate it, but I beg to differ. After all, it is a prawn dish, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fishy at all. Anyway, its your choice if you want to add them or not, but I loved it with them in!

Add a spoonful of red pesto if you have it, to add another dimension of flavour. We had this red pepper one in the fridge, so I used a spoonful of that.

Drain the spaghetti and combine the pasta with the sauce in one of the pans. Stir it all round so it's well mixed. Portion it up onto warm plates and add a nice handful of rocket on the side. Eat and enjoy!


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