Central and North Burnett Times - - TASTE - WEEK­END COOK WORDS: MAG­GIE COOPER mag­gies.col­umn@big­

When you cook pasta, no mat­ter what the sauce, tim­ing is ev­ery­thing.

It’s not so dif­fi­cult with a rich, slow-cooked ragu such as a bolog­nese; I cook mine for four or five hours, grad­u­ally re­duc­ing the liq­uid un­til there is a thick, vis­cous sauce, glossy with fat. It’s easy in that case to pop the pasta on 10 min­utes be­fore you’re ready to serve.

With a sauce that cooks in min­utes, how­ever, put the pasta in the pot half­way through the time needed to cook the sauce.



Serves 4


4 tbsp olive oil; 2 cloves gar­lic, peeled and crushed; 120g chorizo, cut into pieces; 1 can crushed toma­toes in juice; good pinch of salt; 400g tagli­atelle or pasta of your choice; 500g green prawns, peeled and de­veined; 400g cala­mari rings; 3–4 pick­led mild chill­ies; ¼ cup olives; ¼ cup basil leaves; 4 sprigs fresh thyme


Heat oil in a fry­ing pan or skil­let over medium heat. Cook gar­lic and chorizo (if us­ing) un­til gar­lic is just start­ing to colour. Add toma­toes and juice and cook for 5 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Mean­while, bring a large pot of wa­ter to the boil. Add salt, then add pasta. Cook ac­cord­ing to in­struc­tions on the pack. While pasta is cook­ing, add cala­mari rings to the sauce. Cook for 2–3 min­utes, then add the prawns. Cook for an­other minute or two; if sauce seems thick, add a lit­tle of the pasta wa­ter. Cook un­til prawns turn pink.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce, along with the pick­led chill­ies and olives. Turn off heat and toss gen­tly to coat the pasta.

Di­vide be­tween four bowls and top with fresh basil and thyme. Serve im­me­di­ately.

Pic­ture: 123rf

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