casareccia with courgette and prawns


In recent years I’ve been increasingly keen on courgette recipes where the courgette is fried until it is golden. I love the contrast of the slightly bitter caramelised flavour with the very soft and creamy parts that inevitably remain. I think it was this ottolenghi recipe, where the deep-fried courgette discs are marinated in a perky dressing, which got me started down this road.

This made it an easy decision to try Diana Henry’s take on a courgette and prawn pasta recipe, where she talks about the importance of cooking the diced courgette until they are golden as this what transforms the dish into something really delicious.

I think finding good prawns is also really important. I chose raw king prawns, which I cleaned and then left to sit on a piece of kitchen towel, while I prepared everything else, to ensure any excess water drained away. As you can see, they were massive – three really was more than enough.

Diana Henry’s trofie with courgettes, prawns and chilli (serves 2)
140g dried trofie (I used casareccia)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
250g courgette, cut into small dice (I used 1 medium courgette)
1 garlic clove, crushed
150g raw king prawns, shelled and deveined
Good pinch of chilli flakes
4 tablespoons vermouth (or white wine)
Juice of ½ a small lemon
1 tablespoon chopped dill or a handful of torn basil leaves

Put the pasta on to cook in plenty of salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and quickly sauté the courgettes until they’re golden all over and quite soft. Add the garlic, prawns, chilli flakes and seasoning and cook for another minute over a fairly high heat, tossing the prawns around. They will turn pink. Splash in the vermouth and let it bubble away to almost nothing.

Quickly drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan along with the lemon juice and herbs. Check for seasoning, add the final tablespoon of oil and serve immediately.