Simple Suppers: Part 1


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As a chef, you’d expect that all the food I prepare would be done from scratch.  Mostly this is true, although there are days when shortcuts cannot be avoided.  SanFranMam called me up from the grocery aisles & told me I was cooking supper at her place later that evening, and what ingredients did I need?  Now look, I don’t want to sound like too much of a princess, but I really like to do my own shopping, you know?  But, there we were nonetheless, and the pressure was on.  So after a few distractions (“OMG mascarponeeeeee!”) we were all set for a simple, yet super delish mid-week supper with the lovely SistaBliss.



What you’ll need… (Serves 4)

1 bottle Woolies Creamy sun-dried tomato & pecorino pasta sauce

1/2 a bag of pasta (it’s your choice as to the shape, but linguine or spaghetti works particularly well)

1 punnet prawns, shelled & deveined (you can use the pre-cooked ones, but avoid anything frozen)

250g fresh Norwegian salmon, skin & bones removed (sushi grade if you can)

1 cup basil leaves

And then…

Get a large pot of salted water on to boil. Don’t be shy with the salt, seasoning the pasta while it’s cooking is really important. While that’s on the go, get your gorgeous salmon out & grab the sharpest knife in your kitchen. No serrated jimmy-majangas here, okay? This is serious business. And if you own a knife sharpening steel & you’re feeling brave, go for your badge. Just remember to give the knife a clean after you sharpen it. We don’t want any fine metal shavings transferring to our food, mkay? So, the trick is to pretend you’re a sushi master cutting sashimi. Slice the salmon into thin pieces & set these aside. They will take seconds to cook at this thickness, which is exactly what you want. I’ve realized that if you give people the opportunity to over-cook food, they are going to take it to a whole ‘nuther level & completely hash the meal up.

If you’re using long pasta, here’s a tip: as you take it out the bag, grab each end of the bunch you’re going to cook with both hands. Twist your hands in opposite directions gently, as if you were wringing out a wet towel. Drop that into your rapidly boiling water, and you’ll notice the pasta drop neatly around the rim of your pot. This allows the pasta to soften & gets the top pokey-outey bits into the water quicker. Voilà!

If your prawns aren’t cooked, heat a non-stick pan (everyone has to have a non-stick pan, darlings) on a high heat. Once hot, drizzle a touch of canola oil over your prawns & toss to incorporate. When frying or griddling, I oil the food in most instances, not the pans. When oil is heated, the complex aromas & flavours of that oil change – when the heat is too high, the oil may burn or lose its flavour. So whenever you have a protein, oil that instead of the pan. Back to the prawns. Focus!! Fry the dudes until they are no longer grey, but a pretty pinky-orange colour. Whip these out & plonk them in a bowl for just now. (not to be confused with now now)

Once your pasta is al denté (you’re with me on this one, yes?), drain it immediately into a colander & drizzle over some good quality extra virgin olive oil & toss the pasta well. Using the same pasta pot, place it back onto the heat & reduce your power down to low. Pour in the pasta sauce & bring up to a gentle simmer. Once burbling, tear up a few basil leaves & throw those in with your prawns. Let’s take a moment to admire that, shall we?


Once the prawns are acquainted with the saucy-sauce & the whole vibe is bubbling, toss in your steamy hot pasta & incorporate the ingredients together nicely. Pull the pot off the heat, and gently stir in your salmon slices & some more torn basil leaves. Get some cracked black pepper going & you’re done!! See how easy that was?

We coupled this delight with a sexy dry Rosé from Newton Johnson’s Felicité range that I’d gotten from a cheeky lunch excursion at the estate earlier in the day. This dish could go just as nicely with a crisp Chardonnay, but I just adored the pink theme going on! Tres girly :) Enjoy!

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