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.