Savoury,  Spicy

Tagliatelle with prawns and Pernod, the emperor’s new clothes, and Turkish disgust

Tagliatelle with prawns and Pernod

Following on from my previous post about Jazz, our thoroughbred Arabian horse and his water-sensitive coat, I’m pleased to report that he now fully-equipped with suitable waterproof attire, and his neuroses are calmed. He is so pleased with his new coat that he showcases it, with a little pirouette, for anyone that hasn’t already admired it. With the Jazz problem sorted, attention-starved Bijou decided to perfect turning on the taps and lights in the grange with his nose at 3am. As we hear the noisy water pump inside the house, and the lights make Java bark, he has become the cause of many an interrupted night. It’s not too surprising though; he has form as a night time pest.

The emperor and his new clothes

Léo was speaking to a Turkish Erasmus student last week, who said that she had seen more male genitalia since arriving in France three weeks ago than in 21 years of life in Istanbul. Léo, rather taken aback, and not wishing to delve too deeply, would have left it at that, but the poor girl, bewildered — and slightly traumatized — went on to say: ‘What on earth is it with you Frenchmen and whipping it out and peeing in the street?’ She said that in Turkey, men wouldn’t think of indulging, as it’s illegal. As Léo replied, it’s illegal in France too, but it doesn’t seem to stop anyone. Just so you know, the fine for ‘pipi-sauvage’ in France is, on average 68€, but in Bordeaux, where this conversation was taking place, it’s 450€! The Bordelaise certainly like to live life on the edge.

Recipe for tagliatelle with prawns and Pernod (serves 4)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 fennel, trimmed, rinsed and coarsely grated
  • 2 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 360g tagliatelle
  • 300g raw king prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 50ml Pernod (vermouth would work too)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped

Gently heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots, fennel, garlic and red chilli. Cook the tagliatelle (al dente) according to the instructions. Adding the prawns to the mixture in the frying pan, cook until pink. Add the Pernod, seasoning and parsley, stirring well. Toss the prawn mixture in the tagliatelle and serve immediately.

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