Zucchetti Puttanesca

When you feel like pasta but don’t want the calories…

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The food scene today is all about healthy eating, losing weight and looking good. Fad diets such as Paleo, Ducan, GM, etc…etc…seem to guarantee weight loss by becoming a part of our everyday lifestyle. Despite these claims few of us are able to see these diets through to the end. The burning question is why do so many diets fail?

I am no expert on diets or the causes for their failure. My theory is simple and twofold: If you feel like it you should eat it – but in moderation! If you know its bad for you – find a healthy substitute!

Its amazing what a world of difference staying away from processed foods and eating in moderation can make to your life. Today’s recipe is all about fresh healthy ingredients, it steers clear from any processed food and you can eat it to your heart’s content. Its Zucchetti!! Yep you heard that right, its like spaghetti but made from zucchini.

The sauce is a fiery and full of flavour Puttanesca! This is the perfect choice of sauce for the Indian palate, which loves hot, sour, sweet and spicy flavours. The sauce is flavoured with rosemary and accented with capers and olives. Perfect with a chilled, crisp Pinot Grigio on a hot summers day and just by itself on a bed of Zucchetti on a cold winters night!

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Ingredients: 14      Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Four to five zucchini
  • One onion, finely sliced
  • Five to six garlic pods, chopped
  • Five to six red chillies, chopped
  • One can of crushed tomatoes 
  • 10 to 12 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • Two teaspoons of capers
  • One teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves
  • 1.5 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Two tablespoons of goats cheese, crumbled  (optional)
  • Handful of fresh baby rocket (optional)

To make Zucchetti – wash the zucchini and cut the ends. Using a serrated peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise. If you have any fancy gadgets that help you achieve the same result, please use them. When using the peeler, you may not be able to peel all of the zucchini. Don’t stress, simply chop the leftover zucchini as I did and use it in the sauce. This gives the dish another textural twist and of course no wastage!

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To make the Puttanesca – Heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and cook until translucent. Now add chilli and garlic, cook for two minutes.

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Once the onion mix is cooked, add capers, olives and leftover chopped zucchini. Give all the ingredients a good stir so the spicy garlicky flavour coats them all. Cook for five minutes on a medium heat.

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Now add crushed tomatoes, followed by rosemary leaves and cracked pepper. Season the sauce with salt and a teaspoon of sugar (the sugar balances the acidity in the tomatoes). Cover the pan with a lid and let the sauce simmer on a medium heat for seven to ten minutes.

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Add Zuccheti and using a pair of tongs gently toss it in the sauce. Cook for two to three minutes until slightly soft.

Zuccheti Puttanesca is ready to serve! Garnish with crumbled goats cheese and baby rocket. Enjoy this lip smackingly delicious dish guilt free!!!

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Lemon Caper Spaghetti with Carrot Ribbons

Back with a bang and some lip smackingly delicious pasta…

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After a two month-long hiatus, LSD is back! Did you miss your daily dose of lip smackingly delicious food? Apologies to have kept you hanging. I was holidaying in India with my wonderful family, I was forbidden to enter the kitchen and was thoroughly spoilt with an assortment of my favourite dishes everyday. Knowing this, I am sure you can excuse my absence.

Now that I am back in Melbourne, where the weather is cold, dark and grey most days – I can’t help but rekindle my love affair with food, trying and testing recipes and bring them to you. In return I ask that you share your comments and feedback with me, because let’s be honest feedback is the motivation needed to keep LSD going.

Moving on today is monday and I am sure you’ve had enough of it already. To make your dinner woes easier today’s recipe is a quick, easy, flavour packed family meal that will keep you coming back for more. Perfect for summer or winter nights, this pasta recipe is tantalising for sure!

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Ingredients: 12      Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 500 gms of spaghetti
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • Six to seven pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • Two red chillies, chopped
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 teaspoons capers
  • Three carrots, peeled
  • Handful of toasted and chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
  • Five – six tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and cracked pepper to season

To start let me tell you how to make carrot ribbons. Trim the ends of a peeled carrot, use a vegetable peeler to carefully slice the vegetable lengthways into long, thin ribbons. Once your carrot ribbons are ready, drizzle them with one tablespoon of lemon juice to ensure they don’t change colour.

In a saucepan bring water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook it as per packet instructions. Make sure the pasta is al-dente (i.e. has a bit of a crunch).

To make the sauce – in another pan heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent. Now add chopped garlic and chillies and cook until you can smell the delicious garlic aromas.

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Now add the chopped parsley, capers and lemon juice. Cook this mixture for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss it so it is coated with all that delicious flavour.

Season with salt, add the remaining extra virgin olive oil and finally add the carrot ribbons. Toss the spaghetti one more time before serving.

To serve garnish the dish with cracked pepper, grated parmesan cheese and toasted macadamia nuts for that little extra crunch.

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Egg Curry

What an EGGCELLENT idea…

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Midweek dinners can be quite daunting, especially when you have had a manic day at work. On such days all I want is a big bowl of comfort food, which is easy to make and finger licking good. This egg curry recipe is all that and more!

There a few variations of this curry, my recipe has a Punjabi influence. Its spicy, its tangy, its velvety smooth and lip smackingly delicious. This curry can be enjoyed with chapattis or naan or on bed of steamed basmati rice. Don’t get overwhelmed by the list of ingredients, most of these spices are staples that you should have in your kitchen if you love Indian food.

I assure you this will become your go to curry, especially during the week when the cooking motivation is next to none.

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Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Six boiled and peeled free range eggs
  • One sliced onion
  • One can of tinned tomatoes
  • Three to four pods of smashed garlic
  • One thumb sized piece of ginger
  • Two chopped green chillies
  • Four cloves
  • One cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon dried mango powder
  • One teaspoon garam masala
  • One teaspoon coriander powder
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar
  • One tablespoon ghee
  • Salt to taste

Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter. Now add the sliced onion, cook for three to four minutes. Then add cloves, cinnamon stick, smashed garlic, grated ginger and chopped green chillies (I used two, you can use more if you like your curry really spicy). Cook the mix for another two to three minutes.

Add tomato paste followed by all other spices, salt and sugar. Give it all a good stir and let the tomatoes cook on a medium heat for five to seven minutes. Then add 1.5 cups of water, cover the pan and let the curry simmer for another five minutes. Take the pan off the heat and with a stick blender blend the curry into a smooth, velvety gravy.

Transfer the curry to a serving dish, cut the eggs in half and add them to the curry, garnish with fresh coriander. I served this lip smackingly delicious egg curry on a bed of basmati rice with a side of cucumber raita and devoured it in a matter of minutes.

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