One click to check my blogging history and I realised that I have not posted a recipe for *gasp* 6 months! That’s too damn long for one who claims to post ‘a lot’ of recipes on her blog. For this, I do apologise for those who have been waiting for me to post something (I’m talking about you Michelle, and few others who have specifically asked for THIS recipe). First, maybe an overdue update on my personal life.
I went through quite a significant life change over the past few months. A new relationship, new living arrangement (I’m now a PJ girl), new job (started a teaching job at an International College), new routines (no longer the night owl, though still a party girl during weekends). Needless to say, it took a few months for me to readjust and now that the dust has settled and I’m comfortable around the new kitchen, I can get back to recipe blogging again.
Of all the recent dishes I’ve cooked and posted on social media, this dish seemed to be the most popular so I thought I’d end this drought with this recipe: Spaghetti and Zoodles with Cauilflower Pesto, Bacon and Shrimps.
2 major things about this recipe: 1. It’s low carb. 2. It’s dairy free. And let me just tell you that it’s absolutely delicious. Zoodles are noodles made with zucchini by the way. If you have the magical gadget that is called the Paderno Vegetable Spiral Cutter (in short Spiralizer) you’ll be able to turn any hard vegetable into noodles = instant low carb meal (unless you use potato, of course)! If you don’t have the spiraliser, you can use a julienne peeler too. As for the sauce, I’ve used cauliflower to emulate the creamy texture because I didn’t use cheese in the pesto, keeping this recipe ‘almost paleo’. The reason I’ve added actual spaghetti is that Kevin still likes his carbs and I’m not going to deny him of his pleasure. If you want it to be completely guilt free, omit pasta altogether.
This is a great way to up your daily vegetables intake and chances are, you won’t even realise there is cauliflower in the mix. The zoodles do have a slightly different texture to pasta and that does take a bit to get used to, but nevertheless this dish will give you satisfaction as do any other pasta dish. This dish is also super quick to put together, making it a perfect weeknight dinner, while also suitable to impress your dinner guests. So let’s get cooking!
Spaghetti and Zoodles with Cauliflower Pesto, Bacon and Shrimps
(serves 3 persons, or 2 with super hearty appetite)
2 medium zucchini, spiralised into zoodles
12-15 Shrimps, peeled and deveined
4-5 strips of Streaky bacon, cut into lardons.
Quarter of a head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 supermarket packet of fresh basil (1 big handful)
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions in salted water until al dente. Add the cauliflower florets in the last 5 minutes and drain out separately.
To make the cauliflower pesto, add a whole bunch of basil into the food processor, along with 2-3 cloves of garlic, a generous pour of Extra virgin olive oil, walnuts (or pine nuts if you want to stay more original), salt and pepper, followed by the drained cauliflower. Process until almost smooth, scraping down the sides a few times. Adjust the liquid level by adding some pasta water if you wish, taste for seasoning.
Heat oil in pan and add bacon. Cook until starting to brown, then add thyme and zucchini and stir for 3-4 minutes. Push everything aside and add prawns to stir fry for 2-3 minutes until just cooked. Turn the heat to lowest, add drained pasta and Cauliflower pesto and stir to combine. Serve immediately, with or without chili flakes. Refresh even more with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
If you like pesto and pasta, you’ll definitely love the lighter take of this dish. It’s as herbaceous as it can get, and the cauliflower lends an extra creaminess without actually adding any dairy products. This is going on high rotation in my household, and in fact, I have 2 zucchinis waiting in the kitchen for me as we speak! Enjoy cooking!