Cooking with Papa – Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Yesterday I finally got my father to agree to sign up for my first ever cooking lesson! Imagine this… a man who has managed to avoid cooking an entire meal from scratch (there was a period of 2 months when he had to reheat mum’s pre-cooked meals in Gabon while she went home to Malaysia to give birth to Mark) for over 50 years… saying he wants to learn to cook. How could I not totally jump on it?

So earlier this afternoon, just before it started pouring down with rain, I dragged him to the grocery store to pick up ingredients (we have enough supplies, but I figured he should learn the entire process for the first time). I was going to teach him to make a vegetable tian and easy roast chicken, but on the way there, he said “I love spaghetti aglio olio… is that easy to make?”

Heck yeah. The easiest.

Before I continue to gush overmuch about how proud I am, let’s just get on with the recipe.

Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio

  • 500g spaghetti
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup (or thereabouts) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 dried chili peppers, crushed
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 medium sized fresh squid, cleaned and sliced across (I made him clean them)
  • 500g fresh prawns, peeled and deveined (hahah he hated that part)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to season

1. Cook the pasta in a pot full of boiling salted water until just before al dente, remove from heat, drain and toss in a knob of butter (optional), then set aside in serving dish while you prepare the dressing

2. Toast the breadcrumbs and finely chopped parsley in a preheated oven for about 5-8 minutes, remove and set aside for the last step

3. Drizzle some olive oil in a heated open frypan, then add the diced garlic, chili, and sundried tomatoes and toss until softened and the aroma starts to fill the kitchen.

4. Add the prepped squid and prawns and cook until just done. Season with salt to taste. There should be a lot of liquid in the pan from the squid and prawns. 

5. Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss to mix thoroughly. Drizzle more olive oil and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over to toss in as well. 

6. Add the breadcrumbs and parsley garnish and add more salt if needed
7. Serve immediately! 

Well, it was an easy dish to begin with, he’s got it saved on his phone for future reference. I really hope this won’t be the first and ONLY time we cook together. It was so much fun, and from the sounds of it, he’s really looking forward to making another dish next week. Maybe we’ll try that vegetable tian and some milk roasted chicken. Mmmm

2 thoughts on “Cooking with Papa – Seafood Spaghetti Aglio Olio

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