So, I have enrolled myself in an Italian language class for travelers. No, I am not traveling to Italy any time soon but last year I was there and fell in love with it instantly, the city of Venice especially. It was just awesome being there, in awe of all the pieces of art and history the country is famous for and experiencing their love and passion for food. I love Italian food. Apparently, today is National Eat-Italian-Food Day according to Foodimentary so how timely was that? And my husband has requested this garlic prawn pasta dish and so I made it for dinner. To go with the pasta, I made insalata caprese as well. Two simple yet delightful dishes.
Now what comes to mind when you think of Italian food or any Mediterranean food? Olive oil? Absolutely! And of course, all the most luscious of fresh ingredients – seafood, tomatoes, cheeses, salads and herbs. I love using fresh herbs. Basil is my favorite. I think it is a beautiful flavor you can add to almost anything. Well, I use it a lot … pasta, pesto, casserole, salad, pizza and even as a savory bread ingredient.
What I liked about the two dishes I prepared is that they were both easy and simple to make. For the insalata caprese, you will need the following ingredients to serve 3-4 people.
- 3 large vine-ripened or truss tomatoes
- 150g buffalo mozzarella (you can use bocconcini if you cannot find buffalo mozzarella)
- fresh basil leaves (about 12 pieces)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella, each into 1 cm slices.
2. Arrange the tomato slices on a serving plate alternating them with slices of mozzarella. Place basil leaves in between mozzarella slices.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and ground black pepper.
Now for the main dish – Linguine with garlic prawns and chilli. Recipe serves 3-4 people.
- 300g dried linguine pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 fresh small chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 500g (about 12 pieces) green king prawns, peeled, tails left intact, deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used the flat-leaf as they add more flavor and aroma to the dish)
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, following packet directions, until al dente. Drain.