This is a classic dish which can be simplified fairly easily without killing the flavour. I hit upon Jamie Oliver's recipe for this by chance ( http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/past ... -linguine/ ) and thought that, while it would be delicious, that's an unnecessarily complicated way of making this.
ingredients (four portions or 5ish small portions)
pack of frozen small prawns (supermarket value or whatever's cheap)
c.400g pasta (tagliatelle or linguine are traditional but I think fusilli or penne are fine too; wholewheat/spelt/buckwheat preferred)
c. 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
c.100g creme fraiche (or various kinds of yoghurt)
cheap/slightly long-open white wine (rose also ok)
rocket for topping if you want
1. Defrost your prawns in a pot of cool water for about 20 minutes-half an hour.
2. Start your pasta in the usual way; minimal salt in the cooking water because the main sauce is going to be pretty salty.
3. After the pasta's been on for a few minutes, wang a good splash of olive oil in a frying pan and aromatise your garlic for a couple of minutes.
4. Add about 200ml of your wine (maybe a bit less depending on taste), high heat, and bubble for a minute or so.
5. Turn the heat down and stir in anchovies to taste (I'd say most of a small tin, 4-5 fillets, personally), the creme fraiche/sour cream/yoghurt and a good few twists of pepper. Can also add salt if you need to.
6. Reduce for a wee bit, watching the heat to make sure there's no curdling, then add the prawns and cook until just pink (about 2-3 minutes).
7. Hobs off, drain pasta, mix about a handful of chopped parsley into the sauce, then pour onto pasta and mix.
8. Serve on warm plates topped with a bit of parsley/rocket and lemon wedges.
Really easy. You probably wouldn't serve this to a guest you want to impress, but otherwise I think this is a really satisfying meal and a perfect excuse for opening some crisp white wine (not something that happens in these parts too much). Try using Cypriot-style super strained yoghurt for a thick, rich sauce.
The standard vodka from al-Ahram. This is a half-litre bottle, but it also comes in litre bottles. 58g, 40% ABV.
Preparation is really important with vodka - make sure it's been in the freezer for at least a few hours before serving. Don't mix it or put ice or water in it.
Looks quite thick and creamy. Maybe a slight blue tint, but otherwise clear. Slight whiff of grain and maybe green herbs but otherwise no particular nose.
Texture on drinking is quite thick and viscous yet it still tastes fairly soft and smooth. Mouthfeel slightly grainy but very short-lived.
This is alright assuming you prepare it properly. Goes well with blue cheese, biscuits, olives, stuff like that. Probably would drink again. 6/10.