Spaghetti in the bag with prawns

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February 7, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Spaghetti in the bag with prawns: Lucy Boyd’s Kitchen Memories


Serves 4

  • 450g spaghetti
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250g shelled Atlantic prawns, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 tabs dry white wine
  • finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper


For the Arrabiata sauce:

  • 3-4 tabs olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 dried red chillies, crushed
  • 1 x 400g tin of whole peeled plum tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

First make the Arrabiata sauce: 

Pour the live oil into a pan over medium heat and add roughly chopped garlic. Let it caramelise until a light brown colour (this will flavour the oil, which will flavour the tomatoes).

Add the chillies and then the tomatoes and their juice. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 mins, stirring from time to time until the tomatoes have collapsed and formed a sauce, then remove from the heat.

Pasta and Prawns: 

Put a pan of water on to boil. Add a teaspoon of salt, then add the spaghetti and cook for 8 mins till it is al dente. Do not overcook – it is going to be cooked again. Drain and put it back in the saucepan with some olive oil to prevent it sticking together.

Heat about 100g of the butter in a frying pan. Add the finely chopped garlic and a slick of oil. When the butter starts to bubble and the oil is hot, add the prawns and cook for a minute or two.

To make the bags: tear off four rectangles of silver foil or baking parchment, each about 50cm long.

Divide the remaining butter into four and place a blob in the centre of each rectangle, followed by a drizzle of oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Place a quarter of the spaghetti towards the centre of each sheet, top with 1 and half tabs of tomato sauce, then a quarter of the cooked prawns.

Fold the paper or foil over the spaghetti, but leave it open, then fold in the sides a couple of times. Then pour in 1 tab of wine in each opening. Fold the opening shut to prevent any juices escaping.

Place the bags flat on oven tray – don’t overlap them and cook in the oven for 8 mins. The bags will inflate as they cook and fill with steam – which signals they are ready.

To serve: place a bag on each plate and with a pair of scissors, carefully cut along the top, being careful not to burn yourself  in escaping steam. Open the bag, sprinkle a little parsley over, add a squeeze of lemon and eat.

We ate this the day Cathy Kasterine tweeted this photo of Dad in his Messerschmidt with her aunt. Soho, late 1950s.

dad in messerschmidt

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