I love cooking, but I’m fairly lazy at peeling, shelling, deboning and all the usual groundwork that needs to be done. I cook how it suits me, I suppose. Even though I know that fillets are more expensive, I’m also well aware that I’m paying for someone else to do the menial work, and I’m not shelling out (look what I did there!) extra for the weight of the bones or skin or shells.
Luckily for me, it works the same for seafood as prawns are often sold shelled and deveined in kilo bags, which halves the amount of work and time needed to get dinner on the table. All I have to do is take out a portion from the freezer, zap it in the microwave, et voila, prawns! I’d say the same for the pre-packaged calamari that was on sale. An alternative is the marinara mix that most supermarket delis sell, and it seems like they’ve been on special quite often lately. That makes this recipe an affordable and easy one to love when I’m attempting to feed the hungry quickly, which of course, includes the always-ravenous me.
This recipe will produce a pasta dish that is light because of the use of diced tomatoes instead of thick pasta sauce, and the acidity of this combined with the hit of lemon will be balanced out by the addition of brown sugar. Besides the seafood, most of the ingredients will either be pantry or shopping trolley regulars, so it won’t be a mission to find them in your supermarket. And of course, I’m not going to object to you using fresh seafood, peeling them yourself, and making me look like a bag of lazy bones. Much.
I’m guessing it’ll take you 30 minutes on average to prepare this dish, give or take a couple more minutes, but have a glass of wine to kill that impatience. After all, why let the rest of the bottle go to waste?
30-Minute Light Prawn, Calamari & Tomato Spaghetti
500 g of dried spaghetti
300 g prawns, shelled and deveined
300 g calamari
400 g of tinned diced tomatoes + 5 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or use 800 g of tinned diced tomatoes)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup of dry white wine (or replace with 1/4 cup of vegetable stock)
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp dried basil or 5 fresh basil leaves, minced
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
to serve: fresh parsley, grated Parmesan cheese
In a pot, boil the spaghetti according to the packet directions in salted water until al dente. Drain.
In the meantime, heat the butter and olive oil in another pot. When that is hot, put in the garlic and fry for 3 minutes on medium heat.
Add the prawns and basil in the pot and fry for about 2 minutes before adding in the calamari.
Stir the contents for another two minutes and pour in the white wine. Let it cook off for a few more minutes before adding the tomatoes.
Throw in the brown sugar and lemon zest and juice.
Simmer for a few minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and dish out the spaghetti in bowls before adding in the sauce and seafood (more for me, thanks!).
Serve with parsley sprigs and grated Parmesan on the side.
Wear a bib and slurp loudly. Or not.