Spaghettini salad with prawns and samphire

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Further proof that pasta salad doesn't have to be a bowl of sludge like the ones you find in sandwich bars. This makes a great summery starter or main course, or can form part of an antipasti or buffet. Using the shells to infuse the oil gives the dressing a more flavoursome base than you'd get just with oil. Try to buy raw tiger prawns with their heads on which are available from most good fish mongers or supermarkets, fresh or frozen. Depending on what's to hand you can add other seafood such as mussels, lobster or lightly cooked, sliced scallops.

Further proof that pasta salad doesn't have to be a bowl of sludge like the ones you find in sandwich bars. This makes a great summery starter or main course, or can form part of an antipasti or buffet. Using the shells to infuse the oil gives the dressing a more flavoursome base than you'd get just with oil. Try to buy raw tiger prawns with their heads on which are available from most good fish mongers or supermarkets, fresh or frozen. Depending on what's to hand you can add other seafood such as mussels, lobster or lightly cooked, sliced scallops.

Allow 300g spaghettini as a starter, 500g as a main course
400g raw tiger prawns, preferably with their heads on
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped (add the skins and seeds to the oil)
150g samphire, trimmed
1/2tbsp chopped dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the dressing

150ml olive oil
150ml water
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp black or white peppercorns
2tsp tomato purée
1tsp salt

Remove the prawn heads and shells, leaving the tails on. Put the shells and heads into a saucepan with all the ingredients for the dressing. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until almost all the liquid has evaporated from the oil. Strain into a clean pan large enough to accommodate the pasta, add the prawns and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile cook the spaghettini according to the cooking instructions then drain in a colander. Cook the samphire in boiling water (without any salt) for 30 seconds, drain and add to the oil and prawns. Add the spaghettini, dill and tomatoes, season and mix well. Leave to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, giving it a stir every so often. Serve in pasta bowls or on flat plates.

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