Tomato Prawns with Peas

A pack of prawns is a useful freezer standby. They defrost quickly, are none the worse for their freeze and immensely versatile. When I faced a bowl of squashy cherry tomatoes en route for sauce and added it to sloppy onions with ginger and garlic, a pack of frozen prawns poshed it up no end. The prawns cooked in moments and rather than pile everything over pasta (or cous cous) I turned it into a one-pot with separately boiled peas and new potatoes. The choices are yours.

Serves 2

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

500g new potatoes

175g frozen petits pois

knob of butter

300g over-ripe cherry or other tomatoes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves

15g ginger

150g raw king prawns

few sprigs flat leaf parsley

Tip the peas into a sieve/colander to begin defrosting. Scrape the potatoes, leave small ones whole, halve medium one and chunk large potatoes. Boil in salted water. When the potatoes are almost done, add the peas for the last few minutes of cooking. Drain, return to the pan with the knob of butter and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the tomatoes and place in a lidded pan with 1 tbsp oil. Add a generous seasoning salt and black pepper. Bring to simmer, reduce the heat, cover and cook gently, stirring a couple of times, for about 20 minutes. Tip into a sieve and force the sloppy flesh through with the help of the back of a wooden spoon, continuing until only pips and skin are left. Don’t forget to scrape underneath so nothing is wasted. Meanwhile, halve and peel the onion. Halve the halves lengthways and slice very thinly across the pieces. Peel the garlic and ginger, grate or chop in small scraps – I find it easiest to use a mezzaluna. Heat the remaining oil in a wide-based, lidded pan – I use a medium, glass-lidded sauté pan – stir in the onion with a generous pinch salt. Cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes until everything is an aromatic, gooey slop. Add the tomato sauce. Simmer, stirring for a couple of minutes and adjust the seasoning with salt. You now have a lovely tomato sauce, ready for whatever add-ons you fancy. For this recipe, stir in the prawns (having bothered, or not, to remove the black vein on the inside curl by running a small sharp knife down the curl and swiping it away), stirring as they turn pink. Fold in the buttery veg and turn into a serving bowl with a garnish of chopped parsley.