Friday, 28 February 2020

AD | Chilli and prawn linguine recipe with Schwartz

Our house (well its inhabitants) loves food but naturally, with some foods you can agree to disagree. My husband loves pepperoni pizza whereas I can't stand meat on pizza. He loves spicy foods whereas I have always struggled with spice. Fast forward some years and my husband is now equally as enthused with veggie pizza as I am. And me? I am getting braver and braver with spice.

Previously I was removing chilli from recipes and instead having chopped chilli / chilli flakes on the side so my poor husband didn't miss out on my behalf. Nowadays I find myself craving the addictive nature of spice and even pouring more and more of our household staple - chilli flakes - onto my plate to give food that is lacking that extra something.

With spices like crushed chillies, I like to keep the meal itself quite simple so the chilli has a chance to sing. Prawn and chilli linguine is always a dish that goes down well in our household. It doesn't need too many ingredients, it's easy to clean up from (largely a one pot meal), it's simple to rustle up and doesn't take long.

Schwartz chilli flakes * 

CHILLI AND PRAWN LINGUINE

INGREDIENTS
  • 300g linguine
  • x2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Schwartz chilli flakes * 
  • 225g pre-cooked prawns (larger / king prawns will offer a meatier taste)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Seasoning 

METHOD

1. Start the sauce first. The key to a fantastic sauce is giving it time to reduce and develop a wonderful rich flavour. Start by frying off the onion (I like mine golden and just 'caught' for extra depth of flavour)

2. Add the garlic, it won't need long (approx 2 mins or it will burn). Up to you if you crush or chop your garlic (in Italian dishes I love bigger pieces of garlic so chopped is my preference!)

3) Add the chopped tomatoes and the chilli flakes. Leave the sauce to reduce for 10-15 minutes

4) Do an initial tasting of the sauce. If not tomatoey enough, add a dollop of tomato puree. If too tart, you can counteract this by adding sugar (do a teaspoon at a time though!). Add more chilli flakes if you feel it needs it. Season to your liking (I find a generous sprinkling of salt really helps bring out the flavours!)

5) Start cooking your linguine (we used fresh pasta which only takes 4 minutes, but most dried versions take 10-12 minutes)

6) Prawns can over cook really easily (especially already cooked ones) so it's important to get the sauce as far along as possible beforehand as the prawns won't take long. Once you are happy with your sauce, add the prawns (they will only take a minute or two to warm, but will take longer if raw) and the chopped parsley.

7) Do a final taste test of the sauce which will now incorporate the flavour of the prawns. Again, add extra seasoning, chilli etc if you feel it needs it

8) Once you are happy with the sauce and the pasta has cooked, drain the pasta. You can either mix the pasta into your sauce to generously coat it (what I do), or dish it up separately and ladle the sauce on top. Don't forget to take salt, pepper and the chilli flakes to the table with you! 

Schwartz crushed chillies
Chilli and prawn linguine

We really like this meal as it largely uses ingredients we already have in the house (I usually only have to pick up prawns and parsley) and it's low in fat so good and healthy.

And to quote my husband:
"If I ordered arrabbiata in a restaurant and this turned up, I'd be very happy!"
"You know what? This would be just as nice without the prawns"
And for his latter comment, I'd have to agree. A plain tomato, garlic and chilli pasta sauce may sound basic and boring, but using the Schwartz chilli flakes, it would be anything but! The beauty of the sauce is that it's full of flavour so would be great with seafood, meat, vegetarian substitutes or as is. For a cheaper / vegetarian version, omit the prawns (something we plan on doing next time!). Whether you use seafood, meat or keep it vegetarian, the sauce does require some patience while it simmers down, but trust me, it's worth it!


 * Schwartz have sent me the crushed chillies for review, but all views are my own

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