Spaghetti with courgettes, prawns and chilli


Spaghetti with courgettes, prawns and chillis Photo: Russell Bowes

Our friend Martin took Russell and I to a lovely restaurant called Balans in Soho on New Years Day. Although it was well passed lunchtime I’d not been awake that long and was feeling a little worse for wear from the night before, so I opted for a full English breakfast. It tasted perfect and absolutely hit the spot, but being as greedy as I am I couldn’t help but notice the pasta dishes the people at the table opposite us were having, and wish I could have that too. Running my eyes over the menu I saw a dish called “Spaghetti with courgettes, prawns and chilli” which I liked the sound of, so a couple of days later this is what I came up with.

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Prawn and chilli pasta Photo: Russell Bowes

As you might have realised from this blog we eat a lot of pasta but don’t tend to follow the traditional recipes very much, not because we don’t like them, but we like everything else too much not to eat that too. We also put a lot of chilli in our food, which is probably my doing because I like the feeling of my stomach lining burning the next day. This pasta was quite spicy, so I’d say if you don’t spicy food as much leave out the hot sauce and only include half a teaspoon of the chilli flakes.

Serves 2


3 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
1 ½ teaspoons of dried chilli flakes
4 spring onions (scallions) finely sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 desert spoon of cream (we used double cream because we had some left over, but it could really be any sort)
A generous dash of Tabasco or Chohula Hot Sauce (optional)
1 pack (about 250 g) of uncooked prawns (shrimp)
1 courgette (zucchini) cut into very fine julienne strips or grated
250g spaghetti

Store cupboard ingredients:

1 tablespoon of olive oil


Using my new fancy peeler to create julienne strips – but careful its sharp Photo: Russell Bowes

  1. Cook your spaghetti according to the packet instructions, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking to the bottom. While this is cooking gently fry the garlic, chilli and spring onions on a medium heat in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Then add the uncooked prawns to the mix, mine took me about 5 minutes to cook because they were quite large, but the smaller ones would be less time. Turn at least once so they cook all over. The juices should start to create a nice sauce.
  2. When the prawns are almost cooked add the courgettes and cook for another minute or two (or until they are soft). Add the lemon zest, juice and hot sauce, then stir to combine. Leave on the heat until the juice has become part of the sauce; add the cream and pepper, stirring to combine. Cook for maybe another minute to make sure it’s warm all the way through. Then go back to your now cooked and drained spaghetti. Add the sauce and the spaghetti in the same pan and stir till well combined.

We didn’t have any wine with this, but if we did I’d recommend Sauvignon Blanc. You could probably add a dash of wine (or white vermouth) to the sauce after you’ve cooked the garlic, chilli and spring onions, reducing until it’s absorbed.

Recipe and text by Hana, images by Russell Bowes

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