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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Zucchetti with Lemon Parsley Prawns and Pangratato

The taste of spaghetti the calories of zucchini…

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Have you ever thought how amazing it would be to be able to eat spaghetti without worrying about the calories? In today’s increasingly health conscious world the need for healthy food options is insatiable. Slowly but surely everyone is joining the ‘healthy eating’ bandwagon and LSD is no exception.

We all know eating carbs in moderation is ok, but why eat in moderation when you can choose healthier alternatives and eat in abundance. In ode to this today’s recipe is a twist on the Italian classic spaghetti with prawns.

For this recipe you will need to invest in a julienne peeler, they are readily available in super markets. I recently bought myself this gadget and my world has never been the same again. The little pocket rocket converts your everyday vegetables to pasta alternatives and with a little LSD inspiration you can makes these dishes taste just like or even better than real pasta (no offence to the Italian Nonnas).

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Ingredients:  12    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Two to three green zucchinis
  • One onion finely sliced
  • Three to four pods of garlic finely chopped
  • Two to three red chillies finely chopped
  • Two tablespoons of Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • One dozen prawns shelled and deveined
  • Stale baguette to make pangrattato
  • 100 gms of crumbled feta
  • One teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lets start by making zucchetti which is nothing but peeled zucchini. Peel the zucchini lengthwise with your julienne peeler and keep aside.

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Next step is making the pangrattato – break up the stale baguette (by stale I mean old and crusty not fungus laden) into a food processor, with a pinch of dried oregano leaves and blitz it coarsely. In a pan add a teaspoon of olive oil followed by the coarsely pulsed bread crumbs. Keep tossing the pan until the crumbs aren’t golden brown, continuously tossing the pan will prevent the crumbs from burning. Pangrattato is ready place it aside.

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Time to make the zuchetti – Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, once the oil the hot add the sliced onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Now add garlic and red chilly, stir all the ingredients until you don’t start smelling that beautiful garlicky aroma.

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Add the peeled zucchini to the aromatic onion and garlic mix, then with a set of tongs toss the zuchetti to evenly coat it with all the flavours. Cook the zucchini for seven to eight minutes, remember you want it to be crunchy and not overcooked.

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While the zuchetti is cooking lets get the prawns ready. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the dried oregano leaves. Now add the prawns and toss them to evenly coat them with the oregano, then add the chopped parsley and lemon juice. Cook the prawns for about five minutes or until fully cooked.

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Now the zucchetti is cooked, add the crumbled feta and give it all a good mix. Time to assemble the dish. Divide the zucchetti among the serving plates, top it with the prawns and sprinkle the pangrattato on top. Tada! your lip smackingly delicious zuchetti with prawns is ready to be devoured and remember you can eat all that and more.

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