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Spaghetti with prawns and rocket (Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola)
“This dish was on the menu in a little restaurant called La Gondola in one of the roughest parts of Palermo. I thought the combination of flavours was great, and very accessible to us back home in Britain. You can buy very high-quality frozen prawns in supermarkets these days (thaw before using), so it’s a win-win situation, but if you can get hold of some super-fresh ones and peel them yourself this can all of a sudden become very luxurious in flavour. A real crowd-pleaser. Finish off with good-quality olive oil and wild rocket full of flavour and you’ll be laughing. ”
Cook your spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat 3 good lugs of extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan, then toss in the garlic and crumble in the chilli. As the garlic begins to colour, add the prawns and sauté them for a minute. Add the white wine and tomato purée, and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Grate the zest of the lemon and roughly chop the rocket. When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, squeeze in the lemon juice, add half the chopped rocket, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if you want to loosen the sauce a bit, and correct the seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.
Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and the rest of the rocket leaves.