Spaghetti with Prawns, Scallops Tomatoes and Cream

I wonder what else you would do, sitting in a 1908 cottage in Blackheath on a holiday long weekend. You cook. The weather is bleak, chilly, windy and I love it. The kitchen is warmed by an old Kooka gas stove top. I struggle to get the water hot enough to boil on the old girl yet the outcome is truly worthwhile. I first cooked this a week or so ago and it tasted pretty good, but today Stew suggested it again only because by chance we discovered a fantastic seafood and specialist food supplier in the coles car park in Katoomba. So with a bunch of fresh prawns, some South Australian scallop meat and other supplies in the bag we headed back to the cottage for Saturday lunch.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Prawn, Scallop and Tomato in Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 16 Green Prawns, peeled and cut in half
  • 10 Fresh scallops, white meat only
  • 500g of good quality dried spaghetti
  • Three small spring onions or french shallots, sliced very finely. I cut them in half then slice them One garlic clove finely chopped
  • One small birds eye chilli chopped including seeds
  • 600g of vine ripe cherry tomatoes or baby romas. (the quality of the tomatoes is a deal breaker in this dish
  • 100ml of good quality double cream
  • 6 large basil leaves shredded
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the water on the heat for the pasta keep it just below boiling so that you can bring it to boil on demand
  2. Heat olive oil in a very heavy fry pan making sure there is a few mm of oil across the whole pan
  3. Sear the scallops on both sides then sear the prawn meat and transfer to a warm dish or some foil. Keep them moving so they don’t stick, don’t over cook them they will finish in the final step
  4. Bring the pasta water to the boil toss in a small handful of seasalt and as soon as it returns to a vigourous boil drop the sphagetti in and gently move it around to keep it from sticking, start your timer (based on the packs directions for cooking time) from the moment the water returns to the boil, this should be around 10 mins
  5. In the same pan you cooked the prawns toss in the onion, garlic and chilli and the whole tomatoes. Stir them to coat them in oil and drop the heat to medium
  6. Gently shake the pan and keep them moving and turning, you don’t want to brown the onions
  7. After about 10 minutes you will find the tomatoes are starting to soften, keeping them hot and whole is a key tactic here
  8. The pasta should just be ready
  9. Pour in the cream to the pan and gently stir together, then add the prawn and scallop meat, gentle stir and let it warm through
  10. Grind in plenty of fresh pepper
  11. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan, or vice versa
  12. Stir the lot together, toss in the basil and another quick stir
  13. I like to serve this on a big platter on the table and let everyone dig in

Quick Notes

Enjoy this dish with a crisp white wine for a weekend lunch. A Sauvignon Blanc would wash it down a treat.

Variations

If you want to really kick this one up a notch replace the prawns with scampi, you can buy totally awesome scampi from New Zealand from most fish markets.

Cooking time (duration): 25

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: lunch

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating: 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Confessions of a Wine Addict

This is one of those stories with a bit of tragedy mixed in with pile of passion for wine. You see I am at that age where I probably shouldn’t be drinking to much but I can not help it. You see Peter Logan makes me drink, let me explain why. I think I really get where he is coming from as a winemaker. I am a huge believer in the idea that wine can be good and sensibly priced, that the price you pay doesn’t always determine the quality. I am also big on the idea that wine is completely personal, that each of us like different things and if someone likes the taste of a wine then they should be able to enjoy it. Regardless of whether it costs eight dollars or eighty.

This story starts in a supermarket chain liquor store maybe three years ago. I knew the people there fairly well, I am sure I put one of their kids through college. It was right at the beginning of what can only be described as a surge in Australian Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris). I walked in and asked the guys for a pinot gris but I didn’t want to blow a lot of money. He put a bottle of Logan Weemala Pinot Gris in my hands and said “this thing bats way above its weight, it kicks bottles that costs thirty plus dollars and its only fifteen bucks” and I can never resist a challenge like that. And he was right. I went back the next day and bought all the stock they had. The beginning of the end for me.

Some eight months later we spent a weekend in Orange with some friends while I did some work on their computers. Lo and behold one of the top listed recommendations for a vineyard to visit, the Logan vineyard. We never made it there because we had to head back to Sydney however on my return I discovered back on the bottle shop the next gem on my journey, the Hannah Rose. Allegedly named after Peters wife, she must be completely brilliant because the wine is too. Many a bottle of that went down over winter with plenty of pork, my other most favourite thing. But just when you think it cant get any worse it does.

My local pub has a small bottle shop and in it they stock the Apple Tree Flat Semillon Savignon Blanc. And here is where it goes totally pear shaped. It is only about twelve dollars a bottle, and its wonderful. So now I am sure that I am personally responsible for Peter Logan’s new tasting room. Because we down a bottle of this one almost daily and I have put other people onto it as well.

So when it can not get any worse, yesterday, we tried the Logan Shiraz. And now I am deeper in than I ever was. I wonder if he sells shares in the business. I think that this tale has a plot that I like. It’s a plot about passion, clearly Peter is passionate about what he does, he believes in it all and so do I. It is exciting to grab a bottle of wine that blows you away these days where you didn’t have to mortgage your soul to afford it. So you see Peter Logan makes me drink, I have no choice. And if I can make my dream to own a cafe in the country come true I reckon the wine list will be sorted too.

But I will leave the last words on this piece to Peter himself taken off the back of the bottle last night as the second bottle of Shiraz (we started in the afternoon) washed down a six hour slow cooked greek lamb. “Pour a big glass. We like big glasses.” Abso-bloody-lutely!

Note: The Logan website is built with out the ability to link to individual wines and pages. What is this the 90’s? Lets hope that the developers actually get that fixed so that I can point you to individual gems another day. Plus I do drink loads of other wines, possibly too many.

Edit:

Just in case you dont believe me here is today’s leftovers, and there are two more in the fridge.

When I Grow Up

When I grow up I want to own a disco, at least that is what I said once. Today I realise that its not the disco itself I wanted but the idea of having a place where people came and had a good time, to be an entertainer, not show business but food and bev. Being back in Brisbane over the last few days has triggered quite a few things in me both mentally and emotionally. When I left 22 years ago it was to run from ridiculous oppression by a government. Okay maybe oppression is too strong a word but when you are the one being vilified things get seen from a new perspective. Coming back this time I have found a very different Brisbane filled with fantastic little bars, café’s and restaurants. But my heart lies in a little place called Samford.

Growing up on the north side of Brisbane I always had this weird love of Samford village. I never knew why, but I do now. Its incredibly rural, village like, in a valley surrounded by mountains yet you can drive just 5 or 10 minutes to the next suburb and hop a train into the city in just 25 minutes. So you can imagine what I thought when a friend told me about her friend Linda that had opened a fantastic café there, I just had to go try it.

The Flying Nun is everything I love. Unique, inside an old church, the camp flying nun idea being irreverent in itself. The decor is clever, it takes an entire meal to really figure it out. At first its colourful and warming then when you look a little closer you discover little tricks of the modern hidden inside. Indoor and outdoor spaces all with very different vibes and completely unpretentious service. Choose a table, pay at the counter, enjoy your meal.

The food was stunning and the range of choices great as well. The risotto was wonderful, it is a massive bug bear of mine you know how many chefs and cooks seem to not be able to make a half decent risotto.  And there is a modest but well stocked retail cupboard selling teas and other delights. This place is everything I ever imagined I wanted to own and run. If you are ever in Brisbane it is worth the short trip out for breakfast or lunch.

So this has been a bit of a motivator for me this weekend. It has given me something to aim for, because when I grow up I want to own a place just like the Flying Nun.