Oh great, it’s football time again. In celebration of the world’s (or Europe’s anyway) long-suffering football widows, here’s an indulgent dish to be enjoyed alone…
My fishmonger gave me the mussels when I told him why I only needed four. Bonus!
I was going to cook this ‘in cartoccio’ (wrapped in a parchment parcel and baked in the oven), but I am so rubbish at anything that requires neat little folds and patience, that I abandoned that plan… I don’t think it has had an adverse effect on the flavour!
2 tiger prawns, shells on
1 squid, cut into rings (my fishmonger did this for me)
4 mussels, thoroughly cleaned and checked (they should close when tapped, or they are dead and therefore inedible)
3 tomatoes, chopped
A pinch of sugar
1 red onion, chopped
A splash of white wine (about half a glass)
A handful of fresh basil leaves
A squeeze of lemon juice
100g squid ink spaghetti
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges to serve
Plunge the spaghetti in boiling water and let it bubble up for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and prawns and fry until the shrimp have turned pink (a minute or two each side should do it, depending how large they are) and the onions have softened. Throw in the squid and mussels, toss, and then chuck in the tomatoes.
Fry for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes break down and the mussels open up, then add the wine and sugar and simmer down, but not so long that the shellfish overcook. Drain the pasta, toss in the sauce and squeeze over the lemon juice. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. You shouldn’t need much salt as the squid ink spaghetti has a wonderful taste of the sea.
Find somewhere where the incessant drone of football commentary is at a minimum and enjoy in peace!