Monday, 10 May 2010

Spaghetti Recipe #1 - Seafood

Whilst perusing the local CFC* for inspiration for dinner I spied a pack of 500g fresh pasta reduced to 79p and decided to see what I could make out of it. Having previously alluded on here to the fact that I never cook spaghetti this actually was, yep - spaghetti but I figured for 79p I could just scissor it into sensible bits and get over my whole strange spaghetti aversion already. [I love pasta but for some reason spaghetti has just never quite pushed the right buttons for me in a pasta stylee way. I have no idea why so please don't ask.)
Anyway, I thought I'd try and use up some store cupboard / freezer bits in the dish and hence add a bit of frugality kudos points to the 'ghetti. This has in necessity made it fairly idiosyncratic but use the basic sauce base and add what you like / have lying about. After all, who doesn't have a jar of marinated octopus chunks gathering dust in the back of the cupboard??! :-D

Spaghetti con frutti di mare, i pomodori e la crema
Ok ok it doesn't need to be called that but hey - it sounds good ok?
Olive Oil
1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
Dried Basil - 2 generous pinches
Dried Oregano - 2 generous pinches
Carton / Tin chopped toms in juice (400g)
Approx 250-300g fresh pasta
5 fl oz / 120 ml dbl Cream
Handful cooked prawns, defrosted
Half a jar marinated Octopus chunks
S & P
Last few sad leaves of your 'live' basil plant

Heat a little olive oil in a decent size pan. Finely chop the onion and garlic and soften over a low heat in the olive oil. Add the dried herbs and a generous grinding of black pepper.
Add the toms - I had a S'burys basics carton - only 33/4p ish, and bring to a simmer to reduce.
Cook pasta according to instructions. I cooked the whole 500g bag but only used about 1/2 to 2/3 of the pasta in this sauce. Once cooked drain well.
Add the cream to the sauce, use as much or as little as you like depending how creamy / healthy you want it.

Drain half the jar of octopus and if liked chop the chunks into bitesize pieces. Add to the sauce and let simmer again until consistency you prefer.

Add the prawns (s'burys basics again) and last few leaves of the sad looking basil plant on the kitchen windowsill and ensure prawns heated through. Season to taste with S & P.

Add the pasta and stir well to ensure evenly coated and heated through.

I was pleased with this, it had the taste / look of a far more expensive dish to prepare and was really tasty. I have to admit I had seconds (hungry work that voting lark) and this still gave me enough for 2 portions to freeze.

I think it would be very nice with a grating of parmesan over; I didn't have any in the house but it would work.
*CFC: Condemned Food Counter; where you find the reduced stuff that's going out of date soon. Courtesy of the Cottage Smallholder Blog.

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