recipe: prawn and tomato courgetti spaghetti

When the sun shines I am in holiday mode and start to crave a taste that will take me back to an idyllic moment from my travels. One of my favourite spots was Sicily and the food in particular blew me away with its punchy flavours but absolute simplicity. A limited number of carefully sourced ingredients cooked with love and a bit of skill delivered plate after plate of moorish yumminess.

In some ways Jersey reminds me a lot of Siciliy; they’re both islands enjoying the fruits of the sea with a relaxed pace of life, so it seems only right to indulge in this plate of Mediterranean loveliness and soak up the summer sun. I’ve cut down on the carbs a bit by substituting some of the pasta for courgette so you get all of the enjoyment with some extra vitamins, another portion of veg and less of the bloat. If you can’t get or make spiralised courgettes you can always chop them finely and add them to the sauce instead. The anchovy paste may sound scary but you will use only a small amount to give a rich saltiness to the dish that will push up the seaside flavours but not over power; even if you don’t like anchovies do give it a go!

Ingredients

  • 160g raw king prawns (small prawns would work just as well)
  • 2 shallots, finely slices
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ – ½ tsp chilli flakes, depending on your spice tolerance
  • 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp anchovy paste
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 250g spiralised courgettes
  • 175g dried spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp basil
  • ½ tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper

Method

1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium sized pan. Add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes until softened.

2. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for 1 minute.

3. Add the tin of tomatoes, refill a third of the can with water and add this to the pan bringing it to a simmer. Use the side of a spoon to chop the tomatoes up and simmer the sauce on a medium heat for 10 minutes (note that large bits of tomato may need to be cooked for a few minutes before they can be chopped.)

4. Once the sauce has cooked down (it should coat the back of the spoon but not be too thick), add the anchovy paste and sugar along with a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set the sauce aside.

5. Fill a large pan with salted boiling water and add your spaghetti.

6. Once there is only 5 minutes of cooking time left for your spaghetti, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan on a medium heat. Add the prawns and fry for 2-3 minutes until they have turned pink. Add the prawns to the tomato sauce pan.

7. Add your courgetti to the pan (ensuring you add some more oil if required) and fry for 2-3 minutes until just softened. Remove from the heat.

8. Reheat your tomato sauce on a low heat.

9. Drain the spaghetti leaving half an inch of the cooking water in the pan. Add the spaghetti and courgette to the tomato sauce pan, along with the lemon juice and zest, basil and parsley. Give everything a good stir to coat the pasta and allow it to absorb some of the tomato sauce. Serve

TOP TIP: when cooking pasta always reserve some of the cooking water then add your pasta to your pan of sauce. The pasta will continue to cook and soak up the flavours of your sauce so add a bit of the cooking water too. If the pasta starts to ‘cease’ and clog up then add a few more spoons of the cooking water to loosen it off.

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