Courgetti and Scallops
My freezer has decided to pack up, which is the only reason I am eating something so indulgent and luxurious as scallops for a midweek meal, but you could do this with any other protein really - the key to this one is the courgetti. Courgetti is literally just courgette in the shape of tagliatelle, or linguini if you have more patience and better knife skills than me. Its a great cheat way of still being able to enjoy pasta style dishes but on almost no calories and is super easy to make. I used three courgettes for two of us, and just used a vegetable peeler to create courgette ribbons (stop when you get to the core, you just want the fleshy part). You could stop here, but if you can be bothered and have time then it is worth making the ribbons a bit thinner with a knife so it is more pasta-like.
I sauteed off some shallot, toasted pine nuts, garlic and cherry tomatoes before chucking in all the courgetti at the last minute just so it warms through - you do not need to cook it as such. Meanwhile, I got a separate pan smoking hot with a dash of sundried tomato infused oil and putting my scallops on to cook (I left the coral on as I love it, but remove if you don't). As many many Masterchef contestants have discovered, scallops require fast cooking over a very high heat and the scallops need to be dryish or they'll just start boiling themselves, which is a waste of scallop. I turned my scallops over once they had some decent colour on them and whilst they were finishing themselves off I grated in a pretty significant amount of parmesan over the courgetti, and lots and lots of fresh basil. Kind of like a deconstructed pesto I suppose.
Assemble the scallops over the courgetti. You can have lots of scallops even if you're watching your weight as they are about 10 calories each. The whole dish, despite my efforts with the cheese, came in at about 400 cals.
PS. For a wintery pasta substitute I can heartily recommend trying to get hold of a spaghetti squash. Bake it and then literally just pull spaghetti-like strands out of the flesh - it is delicious.
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