Charred prawns and nutty pasta: Yotam Ottolenghi’s five-ingredient recipes

The task of cooking a dish that features just five ingredients is both a challenge and an opportunity for me. A challenge for obvious reasons – I’ve been known to reach for the herbs and spices, after all – and an opportunity to focus on just one or two delicious things. It also encourages a sort of mindfulness when cooking, and affords the space really to notice taste and texture. It feels like a good resolution generally for the year ahead, también. Y, no: sal, pepper, oil and garlic (and possibly a lemon or lime) don’t count, OK?

A chunk of bread or some sticky rice to soak up the sauce is all you need to make a meal out of these fragrant prawns. If you prefer, swap the lime leaves for curry leaves or some basil.

Deberes 15 min
cocinero 25 min
Sirve 4

500g prawns, deveined, head and shell left on, or raw jumbo prawns
60g coconut oil, Derretido
Sal y pimienta negra
5 fresh makrut lime leaves, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
6 dientes de ajo, pelado y finamente picado
150ml coconut cream
1 lime, skinned and pith removed, flesh finely chopped

Toss the prawns in a large bowl with a tablespoon of the oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Set a frying pan on a high heat and, once it starts smoking, char the prawns in two or three batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan, for two minutes on each side. Set aside the prawns and rinse out the pan if there are any charred bits stuck to the bottom.

Return the pan to a medium-high heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and, once it’s hot, add the lime leaves and fry, revolviendo frecuentemente, for three minutes, until crisp. Tip into a sieve set over a bowl.

Put the pan back on the heat, add the sieved oil and the garlic and fry for three or four minutes, until fragrant and lightly coloured. Stir in the prawns, 120ml coconut cream, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, y cocinar, emocionante, for four to five minutes, until the prawns are cooked through and the cream has thickened slightly.

To make the dressing, mix the chopped lime with the remaining 30ml coconut cream and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

Arrange the prawns on a lipped platter, then spoon over the sauce from the pan followed by the dressing. Scatter over the crisp lime leaves and serve hot.

Charring is one of my favourite ways to cook cabbage because it caramelises the outsides while still retaining this versatile vegetable’s bite. Serve this as a snack or starter, or alongside some fluffy couscous for a full meal.

Deberes 10 min
cocinero 35 min
Sirve 4

1 medium white cabbage (900gramo), cut into 8 wedges through the core
Sal y pimienta negra
110ml de aceite de oliva
300g de yogur al estilo griego
100g de mantequilla sin sal
2½ tsp ras el hanout
– I like the Bart brand
80g shelled pistachios, picado
1 limón, zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, then cut into 4 wedges, servir

En un tazón grande, toss the cabbage wedges in a tablespoon of oil and half a teaspoon of salt, using your fingers gently to work the salt between the leaves.

Put three tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, lay in four cabbage wedges cut side down and leave to cook for six or seven minutes, until deeply browned. Turn over to the other cut side and repeat. Turn down the heat to medium if the cabbage wedges colour too quickly; you want them to soften slightly but still keep a bite. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with three more tablespoons of oil and the remaining four cabbage wedges. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

mientras tanto, in a medium bowl mix the yoghurt, the final teaspoon of oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper.

Return the pan to a medium heat, add the butter and, once it’s melted and foaming, stir in the ras el hanout, pistachios, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, y cocinar, más extra para rociar, for about a minute, until fragrant and the pistachios are lightly toasted. Pour this mix all over the cabbage and toss gently to coat.

Spread the yoghurt on a large lipped platter. Arrange the cabbage wedges on top of the yoghurt, drizzle over any remaining butter mixture from the cabbage bowl, then sprinkle on the lemon zest. Squeeze over one of the lemon wedges and serve with the rest alongside.

This is a great pasta dish for when you don’t have much in the pantry. Like cacio e pepe, it’s one of those dishes that feels so much more than the sum of its parts. Other nuts will also work well (walnuts or almonds are particularly good), if that’s all you have.

Deberes 15 min
cocinero 50 min
Sirve 4

105ml de aceite de oliva
sage leaves
2 cebollas
, pelado y en rodajas finas (320gramo)
250g orecchiette (o casarecce or small conchiglie)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1½ tbsp lemon juice
50g hazelnuts
, coarsely chopped

Put the oil in a large saute pan for which you have lid, and place on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sage leaves and fry, más extra para rociar, for about four minutes, until dark green and crisp, then tip into a sieve set over a small bowl. Spoon two tablespoons of the sage oil into a small frying pan and set aside.

Return the saute pan to a medium-high heat, pour in the rest of the sage oil from the bowl and, una vez caliente, add the onions and sweat, revolviendo regularmente, por 25 minutos, until golden but not dark. Tip the pasta into the pan, add 700ml room-temperature water, a teaspoon and a quarter of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of cracked black pepper, and stir to combine. Cover the pan, turn down the heat to medium and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutos, until the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is al dente. Drizzle over the lemon juice and sprinkle on another quarter-teaspoon of cracked pepper, cover again and set aside.

Put the small frying pan with the reserved sage oil on a medium heat, add the hazelnuts and fry gently until golden. Spoon the nuts and the oil all over the pasta, sprinkle on the crisp fried sage leaves and serve hot straight from the pan.

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