…or Seafood Spaghetti baked in paper parcels. To be honest, this method doesn’t particularly impart any more flavour than if cooked in the more traditional way, however there is something satisfying and vaguely theatrical about peeling open the paper and wafting aside the aromatic steam to reveal a hearty mound of spaghetti and seafood.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
Skill level: easy
Ingredients – feel free to experiment with the ratio of garlic/chilli/capers – quantities quoted below are relatively modest.
- spaghetti – 220g
- seafood mix (usually prawns, mussels and squid) – 200g
- prawns (the larger the better) – cooked/prepared – 200g
- cherry tomatoes – halved – 200g
- 3 cloves garlic – chopped
- 2 chillis – deseeded and finely chopped
- capers – rinsed – 2 tbsp
- dry white wine – 180ml
- a slug of Pernod/Ricard (optional but nice)
- extra-virgin olive oil – be generous
- flat-leaf parsley – handful – chopped
- s and p
If you are using frozen prawns/seafood mix, please make sure they are thoroughly defrosted.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
Pour some olive oil into a frying pan and quickly cook the seafood/prawns for a couple of minutes until slightly seared.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat some more oil in the pan and sauté the garlic and chilli for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the wine, Pernod and capers and bring to the boil.
Season with salt and pepper, turn down the heat and gently simmer.
MEANWHILE, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for 6 minutes.
Drain and add to the sauce along with the seafood and parsley.
Cut 4 large squares of baking parchment.
Place 2 squares in the centre of a bowl and spoon in half the spaghetti mixture. Gather up the paper to form a parcel and tie the top with string. Repeat with the other half.
Place your parcels on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Transfer to serving bowls, cut the string and serve.
Verdict: This makes a great Saturday night dinner (assuming of course like us, you spend your Saturday nights indoors). We had to make this a couple of times to get the balance of flavours right – be generous with the ingredients.
Drink: Obviously finished off the bottle of white. Obviously opened another.
Entertainment: ‘Steptoe And Son – The Christmas Specials’ on DVD. Two not particularly Christmassy Christmas Specials from 1973/74. The second one had an uncharacteristic happy ending when Albert and Harold eventually manage to spend their Christmases apart. Worthy of the overused term ‘classic’.