"Certain combinations just make sense: garlic, chilli, prawns and basil - and, of course, great olive oil and well-cooked pasta," says Sibley. "My love for the Italian classic aglio e olio was the initial inspiration, then I tried a quesadilla with black garlic, toasty charred corn and prawns. Sweet, spicy, herbaceous and luxurious. This is the most popular pasta dish on the menu at Albert St Food & Wine."
- 3 corn cobs, husks and silks removed
- 6 black garlic cloves (see note)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 small hot green chillies
- 300 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 500 gm spaghettini
- 500 gm uncooked prawns, cleaned, chopped into small pieces
- 20 basil leaves, plus small basil leaves to garnish
- 1Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta, and add 1 tbsp salt.
- 2Heat a griddle pan or char-grill pan and grill the corn until charred all over (about 12 minutes). Slice the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.
- 3Slice the garlic cloves and chillies very thinly and put them in another large saucepan with the extra-virgin olive oil, but don’t heat it yet.
- 4When the first pan of water is boiling, drop in the spaghettini and cook until al dente (4-5 minutes).
- 5While the pasta is cooking, heat the second pan over medium heat and, when the garlic starts to sizzle, add the prawn meat and stir with a wooden spoon until it is opaque.
- 6Strain the cooked pasta and add to the other pan, along with a little of the cooking water. Add the basil and corn and toss together well. Add a little more water if the pasta is too dry. Season well with salt and pepper and plenty of lemon juice. Serve on a large platter and garnish with the small basil leaves.
Note Black garlic, a fermented garlic, is available from The Gourmet Grocer Balmain and other specialist food stores. This recipe is from New Classics ($49.95, hbk) by Philippa Sibley, published by Hardie Grant Books. It has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.