FOOD: Garlicky crayfish with lemon, rocket and chilli pasta

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This week’s recipe is a decadent pasta dish with delicately-sweet crayfish and a delicious chilli garlic butter sauce. With crayfish considered a premium gourmet product, this is a great way to stretch this treasured delight a little further. Living in the South, we are lucky enough to have some of the best crayfish spots in the country, which means I am also lucky enough to have friends who drop off the odd tail from time to time to make way in their freezers for their new haul! My kids could not believe their luck when I served this up to them for dinner a few nights ago — needless to say they were in heaven! Enjoy.

PREP TIME:  7 MINS

COOK TIME:  35 MINS

SERVES:  4-5 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
2 crayfish tails, approx 500-600g each (or three smaller ones)
1 cup white wine
4 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic, diced
Juice one lemon
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons chive flowers
400g angel hair pasta (uncooked)
50g rocket

METHOD
1.  Pre-heat the oven to 200degC.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Place the cray tails in the boiling water and cook for 6 mins. Dunk straight into a bowl of ice water.

3.  Once they have cooled, cut the shell all the way down the middle of the softer side (not the hard shell side), then peel the shell back from each side and the top of the cray, and gently pull the flesh away from the shell, right down to the tail.

4.  Gently slice down the back of the flesh about cm deep to remove the poo shoot from the back of the crayfish. Cut into about 1cm chunks and set aside until ready to use.

5.  Break the shells up and put them in a roasting pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and place into the oven for 20-25mins.

6.  Once they’ve roasted, remove from the oven and tip into a large pan. Pour in the white wine and simmer for about 10-12 mins, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced by at least half. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.

7.  Next, bring a large pot to the boil for the pasta and cook according to instructions. Start prep on your sauce while this is cooking.  In a large pan, melt the butter on a medium heat, before adding in the garlic and chilli. Cook for 2-3 mins until the garlic softens.

8.  Before draining pasta, tip about 3 tablespoons of pasta water into a cup to use for the sauce.

9.  Once the garlic has softened, add in the chopped crayfish and coat in the butter. Remove a little crayfish for garnish, then tip in the spaghetti and thoroughly combine. Pour in the lemon juice, white wine mix, pasta water and add in the rocket. Remove immediately from the heat and gently combine till the rocket is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

10.  Divide evenly amongst four plates, ensuring the chunks of crayfish are evenly distributed. Garnish with the extra crayfish and the chive flowers and serve with a wedge of lemon.