These gambas can be served as a starter or, with a pretty green salad and crispy bread, as a main course. Try also serving them tossed in pasta. Count on 6-8 small, or 4-5 large per person for maincourse.

                raw gambas or large prawns
                1-2 clove garlic, finely chopped
                1 sprig fresh thyme
                2 tablespoons olive oil
                2 tablespoons pastis
                more pastis for flambéing

First peel then de-vein the raw prawns, leaving the tail attached. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and toss with the prawns. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Heat the wok, frying pan or barbecue over medium heat. Add the gambas, a handful at the time. Cook for about two minutes and check regularly – if they have turned pink underneath, flip them over. Keep checking till all the gambas have turned pink throughout.  Lower the heat slightly and drizzle with a little more pastis.  It will sizzle, then immediately tip the rim of the pan close to the gas, and it will flame.