Budgeting. I’m a flippin’ nightmare at it.  If I have “surplus” money left after all the big bills are paid then you can bet your life I’ll just use it.  It’s a knee-jerk reflex these days.  It’s most likely due to having *so* much student debt looming, ominously, over my shoulder that the amount of disposable income left is a frustratingly teeny proportion of one’s take-home pay.

However, I’m working on my lack of self-control and am determined to not leave us in the position was we are scrounging up the pennies to go buy some garlic to use for dinner like we did yesterday ever again.  Luckily, a hungry rummage through my kitchen supplies saw me good tp go with a surprisingly indulgent meal and we feasted on this fresh pasta with chilli with prawns in a garlic butter sauce.

I literally used up odds and sods – the final knob of butter, the dregs of a bottle of wine from a few days before, about a third of a bag of frozen prawns, the last two eggs.  Had me and Hungry Hubby had the dosh for fresh parsley and parmesan, I would absolutely have added some complete this spicy little number.  Be as brave with the chilli as you dare – this definitely had the hum of heat on my lips. Mmm…

fresh chilli pasta with garlic butter prawns

Feeling inspired by foodie friends to make my own chilli flakes by whizzing up a ton of the rather large “collection” I had going in my spice rack, it was only a hop, skip and a jump into this warming, simple but comforting meal. Fresh pasta is not hard if you have a pasta roller machine and adding one extra thing to the egg, flour, salt and oil mix like dried chillies or fresh herbs is a wonderful way to make the most of simple but spectacular ingredients. In this case, some fat and fabulous but frozen tiger prawns.

I hope you enjoy this as the end of January approaches and undoubtedly, your cupboards are looking a little bare as pay day looms on the horizon 😉

Fresh Chilli Pasta with Garlic Butter Prawns
A thrifty but satisfying meal of home made pasta with dried chilli worked right into it, not to mention the garlicky prawns.
Servings: 2
Author: Just Jo
  • 200 g bread or tipo 00 flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Fat pinch sea salt
  • Good grinding of black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
For the prawns
  • 20 g butter plus extra to finish if liked
  • Dribble of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 125 ml approx white wine or Vermouth
  • Optional – 2-3tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Optional – freshly grated parmesan to top
  • 300 g tiger prawns defrost if frozen, in a sieve as they give up a lot of water
For the pasta
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and seasoning for a minute or two to break down the flakes a little (jagged pieces will rip your pasta as you roll it later).
  2. Crack in the eggs and dribble on the oil then pulse to combine – it probably won’t form a ball but that doesn’t matter.
  3. Bring together in a sheet of cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour but 3 would be perfect.
  4. Flatten the dough then feed through your pasta roller on the largest setting a few times until you see the dough change to a more elastic looking, slightly shiny surfaced, well, dough! Continue to roll down through the settings – I tend to roll 2-3 times per setting; on the first roll, I fold the pasta in half then roll out twice more. Stop when you get to about 1-2mm thick.
  5. Slice up how you please – I used my spaghetti attachment but tagliatelle would work very well too – I use a clothes hanger which I thoroughly clean and disinfect first!
  6. Hang up to dry until feels dry to touch and slightly stiffer.
  7. Your pasta is now ready – drop into a large pot of boiling water and cook for no more than 2-3 mins (taste test a piece to ensure it is cooked to your liking).
For the prawns
  1. Heat the oil and butter until foaming (I have a pot of boiling water ready to go here so I can have the pasta and prawns ready at the same time).
  2. Add in the garlic, stir well then add in the prawns immediately.
  3. Cook until pink and opaque (i.e. cooked through) and remove to a warmed plate.
  4. Add into the garlicky butter in the pan your white wine, turning the heat up to high – you may add an extra knob of butter here if you wish – and reduce down briefly.
  5. Assemble the final dish by returning your prawns, pasta and if using, parsley, to the pan with a splash of the starchy water from the pasta if needed to bring it all together.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan on top and some extra seasoning as liked.

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