THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR PERFECT PASTA
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.
EASY SEAFOOD PASTA
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.