John's Squid Ink Pasta With Prawns or Fish
Pasta / All Seasons / John Cecere / Serves: 4

Some shallots, diced
A bit of garlic, chopped
Some butter
A big glug of white wine
A squeeze of lemon juice
Some vegetable or fish stock
A bit of carrot, julienned (optional)
Some prawns, or fish in bite-sized pieces
Squid ink (black) spaghetti
Some cornflour, diluted in cold water
Parsley or dill or tarragon, chopped


Recipe verbatim from an email from France; you'll need to figure out your own quantities (I did and all was delicious)!

NZ Sauvignon Blanc was the recommended wine match...


John Cecere, chef, Salies de Bearn, France

Sautee some diced shallots (or onion if you don't have the posh ones) and a bit of garlic in some butter until soft. Chuck in a big glug of white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice as well as some vegetable or fish stock. If you want to introduce more colour you can julienne a bit of carrot but this is inessential. Let this sauce which is quite liquid still simmer and reduce a bit (20ish mins).

Warm the cream in a seperate saucepan (that way it doesn't go bitty when added to the stock/wine) then add to the stock/wine, which is by now turned down low (cream hates boiling liquid), and constantly stir as you add it. It should incorporate fine and if it doesn't just keep
whisking it till it comes good. Quantity-wise you want 2 ladles per person (250ml) as a generous saucing as it were.

Put your pasta on to cook while the sauce is simmering. Also have your chopped parsley or dill or tarragon ready to sprinkle.

When the sauce has simmered a bit longer (about 15 mins more) – it won't thicken up much but I'll get to that later – add your fish and season it. Ideally in bite-sized pieces and if prawn all the better because either way it'll cook fast and your pasta should be just about done when your fish is in. If the sauce looks a bit runny then use some cornflower diluted in cold water and tip a bit at a time in and stir. After each bit is added let it settle in and make sure it is incorporated before you add more - gloopy sauce is bad, and slightly runny is fine for spag.

Finale: drain pasta and toss with herb and most of the sauce, leaving a ladle for on top of each plate of pasta.