Speedy shrimp, spinach and tomato pasta

As in speedy to make, not speedy actual shrimps.

They were prawns anyway. But shrimps give them a cooler vibe, because as prawns go these aren’t exactly up there. They’re just small frozen ones from the back of the freezer. But still, I am doing what I set out to do. Making stuff with stuff I have in, rather than going out and buying fresh stuff from M&S that I can’t afford.

So, this is an express version of the one and only dish I had ever – up until a month ago – learnt to cook. It’s  a rip-off a dish, sorry, fond homage, to my favourite menu option from a little Italian restaurant I used to go to in West Hampstead.

The dish consists of pasta — ideally orecchiette, ‘the little ears’ but I only had gluten-free twists — fresh cherry tomatos chopped up and made into a sauce, with a couple of tbsps of olive oil, a third of a fresh chilli and a couple of cloves of garlic.

This is what you do (if you hadn’t guessed already)…

1) Fry the chilli and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil for a couple of minutes.

2) Add lots and lots of cherry tomatoes. Or cheat and use a tin too. I added a tin of Sainsbury’s yellow santini tomatoes to make a more gloopy sauce – and it turned a nice golden orange colour. Cook on a medium heat for 15 mins.

3) Next do your pasta according to packet (soz) instructions.

4) When both your  pasta and sauce have only a minute or two left to cook, drop a big handful or two of spinach into your tomato sauce. On Wednesday night, I only had rocket. So I improvised, like in the war. And Nigella.  It added a much-needed bit of greenery anyway.

5) Serve with a showering of fresh rocket, Parmesan and ground black pepper.

6) It looks quite pretty.

Very quick and simple. And with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, is quite a civilised mid-week dinner.


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