Spaghetti with seafood marinara and relationship advice


Pasta with seafood marinara sauce
You know the days when your husband wakes up grumpy and stays grumpy. (Scientific term for prolonged assholiness after waking up is Sleep Inertia and it's linked to being woken up at the wrong time, from deep sleep. Probably by your wife). So grumpiness continues until eventually husband's grumpiness makes you grumpy and then he asks you all innocent "why are you so grumpy?"

But you made all sorts of vows in the presence of God and before his congregation not to forget the registrar and picture of Her Majesty the Queen in Ealing town hall. As a smart girl you also know the general household grumpiness is not going to diminish if you tell husband to go stick his fingers in the toaster.  And then he says that he loves you a lot, grumpy or not, so you end up having a nice day and making him an awesome seafood marinara for dinner.

Because often occasionally it is the other way round. Not that he ever makes me seafood marinara.

So that was our Sunday, we ended up having a nice afternoon in the summery Regent's Park with husband's kids, just walking around admiring the black swans and the flowers, buying hot dogs for kids and Pimms for ourselves.

I read this article today and it kind of confirms our experience yesterday, that in marriage it's not about you, it's about the other person, you should always put your partner's happiness first. That's what true love is and that's the route to a happy marriage. Along with lots of biting your tongue and locking yourself into the bathroom to scream silently into a bath towel when your partner is being an annoying selfish butthole. Just theoretically.

But yes, this whole "because you're worth" it culture has gone a bit too far. It should be "because he's worth it". (Or if you're a man reading this it's "because she's worth it", or "he" if you're gay. But you know, not you, them!)

Divorce rate amongst Black swans is just 6%, because they put their partner's happiness before their own.
Fittingly to the relationship theme husband was dishing out life advice to the older of his sons. The kid's not a very adventurous dresser and seems to often wear his favourite pair of jeans. Husband was telling him that that way he will never be able to find a wife, which I'm sure is one of the kid's top priorities having just turned 18.

So according to husband these jeans will be ok for the first date, although they could be a bit looser and the waist could be higher in husband's ideal world of appropriate trouser wear. But for first date, fine. On the second date the girl is likely to notice if he is again wearing the same pair and think that that's a bit weird. But the boy is nice so she'll give him a third chance. But again the same trousers. The girl will not be impressed and may very well have serious concerns about the boy's personal hygiene. She'll say she'll just pop quickly to the toilet and disappear never to be seen again.

So there, if someone's ever disappeared on you you might want to think about your sartorial choices. I once was supposed to be taken out for a date. The guy said he'd just go to gym for a quick workout and I never heard of him again. But I'd only met him once, so it couldn't be the jeans situation. I think he probably had a dumbbell related accident and died. RIP gym boy.

So that's my relationship corner this time, more wisdon to come in future posts. But to finish, here's a recipe that can add happiness to any relationship. But only if you use fresh seafood, otherwise maybe less happiness.

Some early bloomers in Regent's Park

Spaghetti with scallop, prawn and mussel marinara (serves 4)

3 shallots
Red pepper flakes or chopped fresh chilli (to taste)
2-3 garlic cloves
1 cup of fish stock
2 x 400g cans of tomatoes (ideally San Marzano)
A couple of sprigs of fresh basil
A couple of sprigs of fresh oregano (optional, sometimes hard to find)
300 - 500g mussels (in shells)
150-200g scallops
150-200g king prawns
2 tbsp grated parmesan (optional)Chopped fresh herbs to garnish

500g fresh pasta (spaghetti or linguine)

Chop the shallots and mince the garlic. Heat a splash of oil in a deep sauce pan. Add the onions and saute on medium heat until they start to soften, down let them brown. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (or chopped fresh chilli if using). Continue to saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, fish stock, salt, pepper and sprigs of fresh herb. Bring to boil breaking the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Leave the marinara to bubble on low heat for 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile cook pasta according to pack instructions leaving it al dente. Keep some of the cooking water for the sauce.

Once your marinara has been cooking for 15 minutes, remove the sprigs of basil and oregano, add in the seafood and cook for 5 minutes until seafood is done. I used small scallops, king prawns and ready cooked mussels, so they all cooked in the same time, but adjust the time according to what you are using. Add some pasta cooking water if the sauce is too thick.

Drain the pasta and add to the marinara sauce.  Add parmesan and chopped fresh herbs and mix well. Some say you shouldn't add parmesan to seafood pasta, but I say sue me.

Serve immediately.

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