Courgette spaghetti with prawns in rich tomato sauce.
This is a completely delicious alternative to pasta and to be honest with so much else going on is just as tasty as satisfying as the real thing, if anything it is improved by guilt free second helpings.
Serves 3 Preparation time 30 minutes
4 normal sized courgettes
3 banana shallots finely chopped
1-2 red chillies depending on spice preference
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 anchovies (the tinned or jarred kind)
1 tbsp tomato puree
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
100g fresh cherry tomatoes
30g pine nuts
300g fresh raw tiger prawns
handful of torn fresh basil
Slice the courgettes into long strips and then slice again into long thin strands (like thick spaghetti) pop them into a steamer and put to one side until later.
In a large frying pan fry the shallots and chilli in about 2 tbsp of light olive oil, try not to heat too high as this spoils the oil. Once starting to soften and colour add the garlic, stir, then add the anchovies and tomato puree. Don’t worry about breaking up the anchovies as they disintegrate as they cook giving the base of the sauce a lovely rich and umami based flavour. Once all stirred through add the chopped tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes and simmer the sauce on a low heat for 20 minutes or so, if it starts to dry lower the heat and add a bit more oil.
While the sauce is cooking prepare the prawns. You could put these in whole but I like the texture and the way they curl when cooked when you split the prawns down their spines, so they are just joined at the bottom and butterfly them slightly. Don’t worry about being too precise with this as it is more for texture and consistency of cooking and so doesn’t matter if they are not all perfect. I also find this makes it feel like you have many more prawns in a dish as it makes them seem bigger, good cheat if cooking for more people!
Once the prawns are prepared make a space in the tomato sauce pan and put the pine nuts in it, fry off in the oil for a couple of minutes and then stir into the rest of the sauce. At this stage add the prawns and turn the heat right down (really low).
Then start cooking the courgette spaghetti in the steamer. Pour some boiling water over the top to get the cooking started. The spaghetti should take around 5 minutes, but do check as you want it a bit al dente and not soggy as this will make it watery. Once cooked remove from heat, drain and return the courgette spaghetti to the pan above which it was steamed.
At this point stir the prawns again and raise the heat until all the prawns are cooked, stir through the torn basil and season with salt and pepper. I stir half the sauce through the courgette spaghetti and then serve the other half on top so that people have lots of sauce, but this is purely personal preference. I would definitely advise stirring the sauce through to some extent though.
And voila perfect, super tasty, guilt free pasta!