Ourzo pasta with beans, peas and prawns

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First you will notice that I dont do lists of ingredients. I would rather you read the page and enjoyed it. It’s intuitive – the results will flow easily from your fingertips, just read it like a good book and enjoy it. Then cook it and share it.

For four people:

Shell some broadbeans, about 500g should do it (before they are shelled), take about 250g peas out of the freezer and 16 big fat tiger prawns – defrost these if they are frozen. Go into the garden and pick a large handful of fresh mint – dont go near any dried mint in this recipe! Take the zest from half a lemon with a zester and squeeze the juice from the lemon and save it. Dissolve one small pot of dehydrated fish stock in 1l of boiling water – I used to buy this in Carluccio’s but they don’t seem to stock it anymore, so now I use 3 tbsp fish sauce from the Chinese supermarket instead. Chop a handful of deep green flatleaf parsley and grate 100g of good parmesan.

Take a big handful of fresh basil leaves, a teaspoon of rock salt, 2 tbsp olive oil and one fat clove of garlic. Pound it down in the pestle and mortar till it looks like thick pesto.

Now we are ready.

Remove the broad beans from their long furry shells and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Put the prawns into a small pan with chopped garlic with the lemon zest, a knob of butter and chopped garlic. Maybe just a sprinkle of dried chilli depending on your taste. Heath the prawns gently till cooked then take off the heat immediately.

Put 300g of Ourzo pasta into a big saucepan then add all the boiling stock, bring the whole thing back to the boil. Dinner will take 15 minutes from this point. Just before the 15 minutes is up, about 75% of the liquid will have been absorbed by the pasta. Add the peas, the beans and the prawns and stir well, and add 75g of the parmesan, stir again and take off the heat.

You should have in the pan a thick soupy unctious pasta with peas, beans and prawns. There should still be liquid visible in the pan. Check for seasoning, but the combination of the fish sauce and the Parmesan should mean that you probably dont need any additional salt. Stir in the parsley and the chopped mint. Add the lemon juice.

Serve hot, with liquid in the bowl, bury a good dessert spoon of the pesto in the middle and offer extra Parmesan and eat with a spoon – because the combination of fishy stock, parmesan and pesto, combined with the sweet beans and peas and gorgeous prawns means you can get more in your mouth than with a fork! Bon appetito!Ourzo pasta

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