Thursday, April 23, 2009

spaghetti marinara

The past 3 months I have seriously neglected my culinary pursuits because I have my dear mum to cook hearty delicious food for me everyday. It's just so much easier to eat without the dreaded washing up after the cooking. But, I have finally broken the cycle of laziness by cooking up my famous (in my family) spaghetti marinara.

I adore this dish for its freshness and lack of additives. I love the seafood sweetness of the fresh prawns, scallops and squids. It is accentuated by a slosh of my favourite white wine, this time it's Joose of Chardonnay from the Berry Farm in Margaret River. And the saltiness of the tomatoes finished this dish perfectly. Magnifico!

Spaghetti Marinara
by closet domestic bunny

  • a handful of scallops
  • a handful of prawns, with shells on (generally fresher than without shells on)
  • 3 squid tubes
  • 400g swiss brown mushrooms (or just ordinary button mushrooms)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 300mL of white wine, preferably sweet
  • 2 of 410g canned chopped tomatoes (i like ones that already have herbs added)
  • 1 of 810g canned chopped tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  1. De-shell and de-vein the prawns completely. Cut each prawn into three small bits.
  2. Thinly slice each squid tube into squid rings.
  3. Cut each scallop into halves.
  4. Slice each mushroom into four quarter sections.
  5. Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion.
  6. Boil some hot water and cook up some spaghetti noodle while you are cooking the marinara. Don't forget to keep checking back and take it out when it's already al dente. Overcooked pasta is not yummy.
  7. Heat up the frying pan and splash enough olive oil, but not too much or it'll drown the seafood. When it's hot, but not burning, add the half of the garlic and onion. Sauté until fragrant.
  8. Add the prawns, scallops and mushrooms to the pan, sauté until half-cooked.
  9. Add remaining garlic and onion (by this time the pan won't be too hot, so it won't burn the garlic), keep stirring.
  10. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste, and keep stirring until all the ingredients are all cooked.
  11. Turn the heat to the highest setting and pour in the white wine. Boil for a few minutes to evaporate the alcohol and retain the essence. (If you don't use sweet white wine, then you should add a pinch of sugar to the sauce to bring out the sweetness of the seafood)
  12. Add one of the 410g canned tomatoes and the 810g canned tomatoes and stir. If you think the dish have enough sauce, then keep the remaining 410g canned tomatoes for the next time you cook up this fab dish. If not, pour it in. Stir until it's heated through and turn off the heat.
  13. Take two to three ladleful of the marinara sauce into a small saucepan on a small heat. Add four to five squid rings to the sauce and wait until the squid turns opaque. Add your already cooked spaghetti and mix thoroughly.
  14. Serve on a plate with a glass of your left-over sweet white wine.
The marinara sauce that I've cooked up lasted me for 8 decent size serves. When I reheated my marinara sauce in the saucepan, I added the squid into the sauce just before I added the spaghetti. Overcooked squid is tough and not good eats.

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