Recipe: Spiralized Courgette (Zucchini) with Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper, Basil and Tomato Sauce

resized spiralizedSuffering from a love for gadgets inherited from my father and readily indulged by my husband, my most recent folly is a spiralizer. A what-ilizer? I hear you say.

Well, let me explain. It’s the latest in my formidable arsenal of weapons against fat. I’ve tried everything (except regular exercise and healthy eating, obviously) to lose weight and when I saw skinny minnies such as Millie Mackintosh and Rosanna Davidson on Instagram eating spiralized pasta I was intrigued.   Was it possible to trick my carb-loving palate into eating vegetable ‘pasta’?

While Spiralizers are available to buy online in Ireland, I found them too expensive and frankly, quite ugly. Instead I bought this one on Amazon, which sits prettily on my countertop and wasn’t at all difficult to use.   You feed the courgette (known in the US as zucchini) through the contraption, turning the lever so that cute little courgette ribbons spill out the other side. You can use other vegetables obviously, but baby steps.

Deciding that I’d better at least make the sauce interesting, I slow-roasted red peppers and tomatoes, adding the sauce to cooked chicken and freshly spiralized courgette. Did it work? Did my palate fall for it? Well, yes, kind of, surprisingly. The act of twirling linguine-style courgette around my fork and eating it with tomato sauce made me think I really was having a bowl of chicken arrabiata. I’ll tell you what, if nothing else it looked a lot more appetising than a plain chicken fillet with a side of spinach.

 

Ingredients

  • Four courgettes, spiralized (a vegetable peeler will do the same job, albeit not as neatly)
  • Four chicken breasts, diced
  • Three red peppers, cleaned and chopped
  • Three garlic cloved, unpeeled
  • 500g of mixed tomatoes
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • One cup of red wine
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of basil, oregano, black pepper and salt
  • Parmesan, to garnish

 

Directions

  1. If you have the time, slow roast the garlic, red peppers and mixed tomatoes in a low heat oven for an hour or two until wilted but not burning at the edges (if not, a shorter burst on a higher heat will do)
  2. When you remove the cooked vegetables, you should skin and de-seed the red peppers and tomatoes (NB, I’m not remotely a*sed, but ‘real’ chefs and cooks would always do this)
  3. Squeeze the delicious roasted garlic cloves out of their shells and into a bowl. Add the red peppers, tomatoes and basil and blitz with a hand-held blender until smooth
  4. In a deep-bottomed pan, bring the olive oil to a medium to high heat and add the onions, browning gently
  5. Add the chilli and then toss in the chicken and stir regularly until cooked through
  6. Pour the red wine into the pan and reduce heat, allowing to simmer until half evaporated
  7. Mix in the blended red pepper / tomato sauce and the tin of chopped tomatoes
  8. Season with herbs, pepper and salt and bring to a medium heat
  9. Add the courgette spirals to the pan, stirring gently for just a minute, until softened and warmed but not mushy
  10. Serve in pre-heated bowls with a little parmesan to garnish (you see? I’m not good at this diet stuff)

 

 

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