Oops – due to a technical glitch this didn’t go out on Saturday. Here’s Vick form Three Bistro, Clifton Road, Rugby with this week’s recipe – FABULOUS Spaghetti ‘con’ Prawn, chilli, garlic & lemon

Looking at the films in the cinema it seems everyone loves a sequel, but I’m going one stage further with my sequel within a sequel!

Last month I briefly shared how I escaped the clutches of the Mafia in Sicily by moving to France. However I couldn’t escape my then wife’s love of all things Italian or more precisely, pasta.

Although I opened my first restaurant in France safe in the knowledge that cousin Vinnie wouldn’t be asking to use our fridge to store someone who had ‘shown him no respect’, this was still a nerve racking time.

When you start a new business and especially a restaurant, you know you are in for austere times unless it is of course a front to launder money or you’re sleeping with someone rich who can bankroll the operation till you finally make money. I was doing neither which saw me having to camp for the first time in my life as a ‘holiday’. Now I know some people love it so I won’t say too much other than to say it was a hard initiation.

We booked a campsite with a hard sandy floor which even a professional ‘tents-man’ would have had a job trying to get a peg into. The area was known for its high winds and windsurfing…and not for sleeping in a tent. Those of you that have slept outside in a force 10 gale will know what I’m talking about so I won’t describe it in any more detail as that would have to include a litany of offensive expression to do it justice!

The next day I collected our chairs, table, utensils and sanity from every corner of the compound and decided to cook something to try and get over the shock that people did this for fun. I wanted something tasty, simple and quick so a lemon pasta with chili, parsley and prawns was the best thing I could think of, a dish we thought would be the first recipe in our new ‘easy camping meals’ book which I abandoned as I knew I never wanted to camp again and couldn’t even bear thinking about it although since opening ‘three’ I have had to buy another tent!

The ingredients;

Raw Prawns: The larger the better but you don’t have to go as far as ‘Tiger’ (‘Prawns’ not ‘Woods’)

Parsley: I find the one’s grown by nuns or monks to be the best.

Lemon: From a lemon if possible, if you’re thinking of using the bottle then you know where the door is.

Garlic & red chilli: Yet another appearance by the famous duo.

Olive oil: It doesn’t have to be extra virgin, straight olive oil will be best.

Spaghetti: Dry and dependable.


The Method

Cut the garlic into thin slices and fry but don’t over fry them or they will taste like you’re licking a pavement in medieval London.

Take them out when slightly golden and crunchy and set aside.

Fry the chilli in the same oil and add the parsley.

Cook the spaghetti in salty water with a little olive oil. Strain the pasta and douse with cold water to make sure they doesn’t stick and then plate.

After a short while add the prawns and cook them through before adding the lemon. Season and stir well.

Drizzle the lemony sauce and prawns over the pasta and sprinkle the toasted garlic and chilli on top with any spare parsley.

Enjoy with a crisp dry white wine and preferably not in a campsite recently obliterated by a hurricane.

This is one of my favourite summer meals as is a BBQ which we will also be doing at ‘three’ this summer!

Three, Clifton Road, Rugby. https://www.threerugby.com 01788 544 782 



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