My love for the Italian classic ‘aglio e olio’ was the initial inspiration, then I tried a quesadilla with black garlic, toasty charred corn and prawns. Sweet, spicy, herbaceous and luxurious. This is the most popular pasta dish on the menu at the restaurant.
salt and pepper
3 corn cobs, husks removed
3 small hot green chillies, such as bird’s eye or scud
300ml extra-virgin olive oil
500g raw, peeled prawns, deveined and chopped into small pieces
2-3 lemon, juiced
small basil leaves, for garnish
Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta, and add a tablespoon of salt.
Meanwhile heat up a griddle pan or chargrill pan and grill the corn until charred on all sides, about 12 minutes. Slice the corn kernels off the cob with a very sharp knife.
Slice both garlics and the chillies very thinly and put them in another large saucepan with the extra-virgin olive oil, but don’t heat it yet.
When the first pan of water is boiling, drop in the spaghettini and cook until al dente, about 4–5 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the second pan over medium heat and, when the garlic starts to bubble, add the prawn meat and stir with a wooden spoon until it is opaque.
Strain the cooked pasta and add to the other pan, along with a little of the cooking water. Add the basil and corn and toss together well. Add a little more water if the pasta is too dry.
Season well with salt and pepper and plenty of lemon juice. Serve on a large platter and garnish with the small basil leaves.
Recipe from New Classics by Philippa Sibley.