No, no one died, dead week being a reference to that terrible time between Christmas and New Year where inevitably you have to go to work, see relatives you don’t like or, if you’re me, be really sodding ill. You’ve already cooked for the 5000 and the meat leftovers seem to be multiplying no matter how many sandwiches you make.
Lucky for us the majority of these ingredients will be in the house and the entire dish takes as long as boiling a pan of pasta. It’s a sort of cheats Carbonara but I won’t insult the Italian population by calling it so. Maybe a basic Alfredo.
This is very much a recipe for those who are fine to cook by eye, go on be brave.
Enough pasta for everyone, read the packet and weigh it, don’t guess
Meat, I chose prawns but anything like ham, chicken or turkey will suffice
Three garlic cloves
One chilli, I usually use red
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of grated hard cheese
Butter or oil for frying
Lots of ground black pepper
Boil the pasta in well seasoned water. Whilst this is happening, chop your garlic and chilli, prepare your protein (shred/chop or leave depending on preferences) and warm up you pan or wok.
Chuck in your butter or oil, once sizzling add the garlic and chillies and stir fry. Once browned add your protein and cook through. Season and add half of the lemon juice.
Drain your pasta, retain a little of the water and put it into your pan. Stir well and pour in enough double cream to coat the pasta. Add the cheese, the rest of the lemon juice and a good helping of salt and black pepper. Continue to stir until everything has combined.
Chuck on a plate and, if you want to follow my example, eat in solitude with a hacking cough and an ear infection.