Prawn Spaghetti Marinara

I think my love for Nigella Lawson is not something that can be expressed with the help of a few alphabets erratically distributed to make up a sentence. She is my culinary goddess. There are many cooks/chefs I look upto, but Nigella has her own pedestal in my eyes. And lo and behold, she also has a full book and consequently an entire Television series dedicated to Christmas cooking. I love watching that series. I've seen that over and over again — on TV, on Youtube — and I just don't seem to tire of it. The twinkling hues of green, red and mild gold that light up her kitchen for this particular season lures me to no end. I gape at her pantry like a kid in a candy store, I lust after her kitchen gadgets and I completely drool over the way she whips up stunning delights with such calm and composed ease.
As much as I would have liked to try out her elaborate Stuffed Turkey Roasts or Ginger-Honey Glazed Ham, my pantry boasting of humble ingredients kept acting as a strong reality check. Ham and Turkey are not things I'm very confident in buying, I did make a Chicken Roast though, but that will come later in the series. For now I leave you with something that I picked up from her book Nigellissima. The original recipe called for squids, but I had no clue where to find them, and worse, how to clean and soften them. So I settled for good ol' prawns. Prawns and Marinara are a match made in heaven. Throw a generous amount of pasta into it and you have a hearty, comforting Christmas treat for your friends and family.
Serves: 4

Spaghetti: 300 gm
Prawns, washed and deveined: 750 gm
Tomatoes, pureed: 4-5
Onions, chopped finely: 2
Garlic, chopped finely: 1 tbsp
Fresh parsley, chopped finely: 3-4 tbsp
Red wine: 1 cup
Red chilli flakes: 2 tsp
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Salt, to taste (I used garlic salt)


1. In a big wok, heat water (the proportion should be 1 litre of water per 100 gm of pasta) with some salt and a little bit of olive oil and allow to come to a boil. Once the water starts boiling add the spaghetti (spread it across the wok like a hand fan) and cook covered or according to package instructions till al dente.

2. In another wok, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook till translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the pureed tomatoes and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the red chilli flakes, parsley and salt. Then add the red wine and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes till the sauce thickens slightly. Now add the prawns, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or till soft and white.

4. Once the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Tip the water in the marinara sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the cooked pasta, mix everything together and let the spaghetti absorb the flavour of the marinara sauce and prawns. Check seasoning and add salt if required.

5. Serve hot.


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