Spaghetti with Prawns and Courgettes

Don’t judge until you’ve tried it, and for under a £1 per serving, you can’t afford not to

Spaghetti with Prawns and Courgettes from the Hairy Dieters might seem like an odd combination. However, for 250 calories per portion it is packed full of bold flavours coming from the lemon zest, capers, nutmeg and basil, making it something of a surprise, and all for just 90 pence per portion!

I tend to order courgettes on autopilot in my weekly supermarket deliveries, regardless of whether I plan to use them or not, so always tend to have some hanging around in my fridge. This recipe is perfect for using them up, but if it doesn’t float your boat, then try spaghetti on fire or tagliatelle carbonara.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Prawns and Courgettes

Calories: 250 per portion

Serves: 4

Book: Hairy Dieters – Good Eating

Prep time: Approx 15 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 15 minutes


  • 200g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large or 2 medium courgettes (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 200g brown shrimp, or cooked , peeled North Atlantic prawns (defrosted)
  • A fine grating of nutmeg
  • Handful of basil leaves (roughly torn)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx £0.90                                       


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti, stir well, and bring the water back to the boil. Cook the past for 10-12 minutes until tender, or according to the packet instructions, stirring occasionally.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and courgettes and cook until the onion is soft and the courgettes have started to soften around the edges – you don’t want them to break down any more than that. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the lemon zest and capers and season with lots of black pepper.

When the past is done, drain it in a colander, reserving a jugful of the cooking liquid. Add the shrimp or prawns to the frying pan, then a small ladleful of the pasta cooking liquid. Grate over a little nutmeg. Allow the sauce to bubble for a few moments, then add the pasta and the basil. Turn everything over so it is thoroughly combined. If the dish seems too dry, add a little more cooking liquid. Serve immediately.


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