Quick seafood pasta (#6)

I opted for pasta on my hungover Saturday, so today it’s a cheeky seafood recipe from Nigella’s Kitchen. 

The main attraction for me was the colour. A warm orangey-red. And I just love seafood. Nigella uses a pack of frozen seafood, so I’ve followed suit. It was super quick to make, but I’m still not sold on the merits of using pretty much anything frozen apart from peas or Yorkshire puddings.

This is however the first time I’ve bought one of Nigella’s essentials – garlic infused olive oil. I recommend! Fantastic for pretty much anything Italian-ish.

Stages: prepare saffron water, fry spring onions & tarragon, add wine, saffron water and chopped tomatoes. Put pasta on (if using), before adding frozen seafood to the mix.

Good: quick and easy. Astonishingly though. I mean 20 minutes is an absolute maximum for this.

Bad:  if you like thick pasta sauces, I’d stay clear. Or do as Nigella says and work your way through a fresh baguette by mopping up the sauce.

Ingredients: (serves 3 heartily, otherwise will serve 4)

  • saffron threads (pinch)
  • 4 teaspoons garlic oil
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 125ml white wine (approx 1/2 a mug, can measure if preferred)
  • 227g tin of chopped tomatoes (or use half a regular tin)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • pepper
  • (I’m serving with spaghetti, so make sure you have regular salt for the water).

Required

  • large frying pan
  • saucepan (for pasta)
  • colander
  • measuring jug (although the amount of saffron water and white wine can be discerned by using mugs)

Preparation

  1. Put the saucepan for the pasta on the hob and get the water hot and ready. Add some salt (which I think is essential for pasta).
  2. Put a pinch of saffron threads in a regular mug. Boil enough water in the kettle, and then pour it into the mug with the saffron threads in (should be 250ml worth of water). [Mug 1]
  3. Finely slice up the 6 spring onions, and just add the 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon to them so they can easily put in the pan together whne needed.

Cooking

  1. Put the large frying pan on a medium heat, and warm the garlic oil.
  2. Add the spring onions and tarragon, fry for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine, and let it fry for 1 minute. Add the saffron water, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes. Bring it back to the boil, then add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes.
  4. I’d now whack the spaghetti on, which is 10 mins.
  5. Add a 400g pack of frozen seafood to the sauce. Turn the heat to high until it comes back to boil and then return to medium for it to simmer. I think by the time this is done and it’s cooked through the pasta will be done. Season sauce with rest of sea salt flakes and pepper to taste.
  6. Drain the pasta, and divide between plates, before ladling the seafood sauce over each dish.

Reflections

Personally I don’t think frozen seafood is anything to write home about, but it is absurdly convenient. If you happen to casually keep frozen seafood around, that is. There’s no reason why fresh ingredients wouldn’t work though. Fresh prawns don’t take a very long time to cook at all.

The sauce is not watery, because that makes it sounds so unappealing. It’s flavorsome, but not in any way thick. I’m a hearty meal kind of guy, so this dish might have come with the slightest pang of disappointment. Combining it with spaghetti works well, but Nigella’s original suggestion of mopping the whole thing up with bread does sound fantastic in hindsight.

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