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courgette_pappardelleI’m a big fan of Italian food, and that often means pasta. But I can’t eat pasta on my low carb way of eating. Ooh the dilemma! I honestly didn’t think that this would be a decent replacement for pasta, and it was only the fact that I was intending to photograph last night’s Squid Alla Puttanesca that stopped me from jumping off the low carb wagon and having linguine with the squid alla puttanesca. Somewhat reluctantly, I made the courgette (zucchini for any US readers) instead, and I’m very glad that I did; it was really, really good!

I first encountered the idea of using courgette as a pasta substitute on these wonderful low carb support threads. Last night I used this recipe, which is very well explained.

creating the 'pappardelle'It’s also very simple to make. I used one large courgette and a potato peeler, and that would be enough for two, I reckon. If you have a julienne peeler or a spiralizer (I’d never heard of one of those until yesterday), then you could make spaghetti sized strips, but I rather like these wide, pappardelle-like strips.

Wash your courgette, then simply peel off strips with the peeler. If you’re using a potato peeler, make sure you do it firmly so that you get the thickest strips possible.

Mark’s Daily Apple recommends that you let them dry out for at least 3 hours so they don’t go soggy when you cook them. I didn’t have that long, so I blotted mine really thoroughly with kitchen towel, spread them out thinly on some more kitchen towel, and left them to dry out a bit for around 20 minutes.

puttanesca_with_courgette_pappardelleI fried them in butter on a medium/medium-high heat for about two minutes. I didn’t add garlic and I wanted to cook them quickly (to avoid sogginess) and didn’t want to burn the garlic. The texture was just right – al dente and a little contrast to the tender squid alla puttanesca.