While in Vietnam, I took a cooking course in Hanoi and used this amazingly rustic kitchen tool. I was even luckier when our instructor/chef allowed me to take one home with me. It’s slightly dangerous looking (thankfully I had the Tetanus vaccination just before the trip) and can be made with a piece of wood and a can of soda actually. Anyway, we made a divine green papaya salad, which I intend to make soon, as soon as my order of Vietnamese food stuff arrives. But in the meantime, I’ve played around with the tool to make spaghetti out of courgettes or zucchini.
I’ve seen a number of gluten-free and Paleo sites using this type of “pasta” as a substitution for real pasta dishes and I thought I’d give it a try too. I have to say, they are amazing, better than wheat or regular pasta!
The dish today is a variation of an appetiser that I’ve made for one Christmas that my parents visited us in Germany. My father couldn’t stop raving about it…so I thought I’d make something similar with which to accompany the “pasta”.
GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP & MUSHROOMS WITH COURGETTE PASTA
Ingredients, for 2
- 4 courgettes/zucchini
- 6 cloves of garlic (adjust according to your taste, however), minced
- 1/2 kilo of raw shrimp, shelled, rinsed and pat dry
- 6 medium brown mushrooms, sliced
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- juice of 1 1/2 lemons
- fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
Rinse the courgettes and peel. With a special vegetable slicer (or if you are lucky to have one of the same tools I have), create noodles out of the vegetables. Set aside. Place a pot with water and a pinch of salt on the stove over high heat and bring to boil.
In the meantime, in a saucepan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. When both are hot, add the garlic and saute 3 minutes, stirring frequently so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the shrimp and cook at medium heat until they start to turn pink. Add the mushrooms and cook until shrimp are done, about 1-2 minutes (do not overcook, or the shrimp will be hard and dry). Add sea salt and pepper, to taste. Squirt lemon juice over and stir. Remove from heat.
When the water is at boiling point, add the courgette pasta and cook about 3 minutes. Do not cook longer or you’ll end up with a vegetable mush instead of the stringy pasta shape desired. You also want the vegetable to be slightly al-dente.
To serve: place the pasta on the plate and spoon the garlic shrimp and mushrooms with sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cilantro. And it’s ready to eat!