Zingy and fresh - perfect for a summer evening
Ingredients (serves 2)
Glug olive oil
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1cm fresh root ginger - smushed
1 pack cooked/uncooked prawns (amend cooking time accordingly)
1 large courgette
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Squirt of sweet chilli sauce
300g wide ribboned fresh pasta
Grating of parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
This is an incredibly simple and quick recipe that really benefits from a bit of mise-en-place... ie getting your ingredients all ready before even thinking of boiling the kettle. Well, OK, actually boiling the kettle is all part of the mise-en-place, but what I mean is to emulate the TV chefs and prepare all you can in advance as this dish takes moments to put together once you start.
I started by using a small ceramic grating dish which is something I use for crushing garlic and ginger - you simply rub the clove or root over the ridges on the dish and it smooshes. Prepare the ginger and garlic like this and put it to one side.
Then, using a tiny grater from a cracker (the best and most useful of all the cracker gifts, always rugby tackle this off someone after Christmas lunch if you're unlucky enough to get the plastic whistle instead), grate the rind off the lemon, then cut it in half and juice it. Put these to one side.
Chop the parsley into small pieces - I used the left overs from a big bunch so it was probably a small handful. Again, put to one side. Open the packet of prawns (I used organic cooked ones as they were on special, but you can use raw ones if you prefer) and make sure that the parmesan is out of the fridge and ready to be grated by the tiny grater too.
Finally, using a peeler, strim thin strips off the courgette, discarding the very centre of the vegetable unless you particularly want it.
Once you're assembled, glug some olive oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat and put those strips of courgette into it. Toss them around so that they start to colour and turn translucent. Add the garlic and ginger now and toss it all in with the courgettes. Pour the boiling water in another large saucepan and get the pasta going - if using fresh this will only take one minute or so. Add the prawns into the courgette mix (if using cooked, if using raw prawns cook these in the oil first before adding the courgette). Toss it all around. Add the lemon rind and juice as it's all cooking and make sure the prawns are heated through before sloshing in some of the pasta water if you fancy a more sauce-like dish. Squirt in some sweet chilli sauce or add a pinch of chilli flakes.
Finally strain the pasta and add it to the courgette mix and toss it all around. Grate in some parmesan and grind in some black pepper. Serve in deep bowls and sprinkle on some chopped parsley at the end before serving.
You can use dried pasta if you like, just get this going before you start the courgette mix, according to pack instructions. And as suggested you can use raw prawns but make sure they're cooked through before you finish the dish.
This would go brilliantly with a Riesling, such as the Kung Fu Girl Riesling or a chilled Viognier.