Struggling to get your five-a-day? Try this nifty way of using cheap, cheerful and seasonal courgettes in place of pasta or noodles…
Shops and allotments are filled with courgettes in July and August. They’re delicious eaten raw, grilled or stuffed – but why not take their versatility to new heights? In round two of my quest for vegetable alternatives to starchy carbs, I’m turning courgettes into ‘spaghetti’ – or as food fashionistas call it, courgetti. Yes, you read that right – this new cool plate filler on the block is delicious served with Italian dishes, or with Asian stir-fries.
Nutrition wise, the figures stack up: a 100g serving of courgetti provides 1.2g fibre, 360mg potassium, 52mcg folate, 100mcg vitamin A and 21mg vitamin C – all for just 18 calories. Courgettes also contain two antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin – that help to keep the eyes healthy and protect against age-related macular degeneration, which can cause blindness.
Here’s how I made my courgetti…
The prep bit
One trimmed medium courgette will serve one person. Using a julienne peeler, spiraliser or similar attachment for a mandoline, cut the courgette into strips. (If your knife skills are top-notch, you could cut the courgette into spaghetti style strips by hand.)
The quickest and easiest way to cook courgetti is in a frying pan, over a medium-high heat, with a tiny splash of oil – I used garlic-infused rapeseed oil (courgettes contain a lot of water so you really don’t need to use much oil). At this point you can get creative and add herbs or spices depending on the dish you’re cooking. I tossed some crushed garlic and ground black pepper through my courgetti, to go with the spinach, bacon and reduced-fat crème fraîche sauce I served it with.
How did I rate it?
It’s another delicious veggie alternative to carbs such as pasta or noodles, and is particularly good during the summer as it’s much lighter than pasta.
You need a julienne peeler or spiraliser (available at Amazon, Lakeland and eBay) to get the best courgetti.