Yes we’re back to Iluka again.
The owners of the restaurant I work at have declared we shall be closed for a week for maintenance and a well-deserved break after the holiday craziness. I agreed this was a good idea. Even if I was a little simpler then I think I am and didn’t think it was a good idea, I would still have packed my ass up and headed off to Iluka for the week. I love this little town. I think I could even go so far as to speak for the rest of the family and say we love this little town.
It’s a nice drive down, only taking one hour in a white mans motorized metal chariot, which is just inside of the minimum safe time lapse for the kids to start ripping each other’s faces off. It is a home to great beaches, fishing, a nice little fisherman’s co-op with a good range of fresh seafood from the surrounding waters that all comes with a smile and a reasonable price tag, national parks, a bottle shop… this list could carry on for ever. But this is not a brochure for “tourism Iluka”, it is but a simple story of a man and his two boys and a little house on the beach (that came in at under $500 for the seven nights I might add… Fuck it, this can be a “tourism Iluka” brochure. Get yer ass down here. It’s damn nice).
We have plans for eating all sorts of food while we are down here just because that’s how our holidays (and let’s face it, lives) work. Obi has spent the last week book-marking recipes he wants to cook. He even informed me that all of the recipes have ingredients listed so I can buy everything we nee to make them. Good kid that one.
But tonight we shall ease into this whole holiday thing and keep our evening meal simple. And by simple I mean simple and EFFING AWESOME.
Spaghetti with prawns, tomato, chilli, garlic and lemon, pangrattato (could happily serve 4 but was eaten by 3. Halve the recipe to serve you and your valentine, or you and your cat if that’s all you got)
1x 500g pack of spaghetti (this was a little too much for us but that just means you have some left for lunch tomorrow
600g headless king prawns, peeled and de-veined
3 tomatoes or a punnet of cherry tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1-2 long red chilli, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a handful of fresh rocket or chopped parsley or even coriander if you want to be cutting edge
pangrattato to serve (recipe below)
- Cook your pasta exactly how the instructions tell you to cook it. Strain it, reserving a little of the water and set aside for a few minutes because that my friend, is how long it’s going to take you to cook this. No shit
- Get a pan up to a med-high heat and add a splash of oil
- Add the prawns and sauté for a minute
- Add tomatoes, garlic (I add the garlic now because I like it kind of punchy. Put it in with the prawns if you are not so keen or possibly have a hot valentine that you wouldn’t like to offend with your garlic-y stench. You should probably get some deodorant on too. You’re welcome), chilli and lemon zest and toss for that other minute
- Add lemon juice and rocket/parsley/whatever and toss once more to wilt the greens
- Season, toss with pasta and top with pangrattato
- Eat it on the verandah of your house in a little seaside village… or maybe just pretend you’re here… there’s a spare room if you are
Pangrattato (fried bread crumbs)
Also known as poor man’s parmesan. But who ever the poor man was who invented this shit, he was poor no longer that’s for sure
½ loaf stale bread (I like to keep some in the freezer for such an occasion), blitzed to a rough crumb
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic if you would like your poor man’s parmesan to be more of a middle salary earners parmesan, smashed with the flat of a knife
- On a low heat simmer the garlic until starting to brown and the kitchen smells like you have just cooked some garlic
- Add the breadcrumbs and fry until crisp and golden. Depending on the bread, this could take 5-10 minutes
- Drain on paper towel
- Season with salt
This is probably something even you could whip up for your valentine… or eat it by yourself with nothing but a tube of hand moisturiser the thought of what could’ve been