Courgetti Seafood Marinara
You know there are quite a lot of Italian dishes that are both packed full of flavour and heart healthy nutrients. Spaghetti alla marinara con pesce is one of those dishes. And courgetti seafood marinara is my gluten-free version of this wonderful Mediterranean dish.
They don’t call the Mediterranean diet one of the best in the world for nothing you know.
Deciding which Italian dish to make
I love Italian food. I just love it. To begin with, I was very tempted to make some Italian dessert for this post. And tiramisu used to be my go-to dessert to make when I wanted to make a nice dessert for people that I was sure would be liked and enjoyed by everyone. It’s not gluten-free though. So I haven’t made it for a few years now. It is possible to buy to gluten-free ladyfingers. But I want to use ingredients most people are likely to find in the nearest supermarket.
I did think of making a zabaglione which I’ve never made. And then I saw this butterscotch budino and thought wow! I want one of those. But then I thought about how the last recipe was a dessert. And then I thought about how eating less sugar and more nutritious food is so important for your immune system. And the pandemic isn’t over yet…
But it does look like the end is in sight. Hopefully.
Anyone else shocked that there isn’t more of a global effort to ensure everyone everywhere gets vaccinated as soon as possible? Shocked and disgusted.
And the number of cases in Ireland so far this year? Very worrying. Although things seem to be improving now on that front too.
There is an end in sight. Let’s do all we can to all get there.
Now back to something lovely. Italian cuisine.
What did I choose and why?
So, after deciding that no, I would not give into my gluttony and choose some rich and divinely creamy Italian dessert, a little mournfully, I searched for “are there any healthy Italian dishes?”.
Why did I need to search for this? I know there are. I’ve made some. Healthy Italian dishes (and Greek) (and Spanish) (actually healthy meals from a lot of places) don’t taste “healthy”. They are delicious. No reason to be mournful. I guess all the sugar I’ve eaten over the years is rotting my brain. Really I could do with following a Mediterranean diet more consistently.
Get to the point!
Easy. I’m getting there. In my own time.
Right. So I was very taken with this recipe for Pasta Puttanesca. It’s fantastic. It’s full of all the flavours I love and full of heart healthy nutrients. But I wanted to add some more seafood to it. And then I stumbled across this recipe for Seafood Spaghetti Marinara and decided to marry the two recipes together. The seafood post recipe is full of great tips like how to avoid overcooking the seafood. I’ve followed that step here.
And the courgetti? I bought a spiralizer a few years ago. I’m not even sure when. I’ve never used it. If I don’t use it two times before the holidays I’m going to give it away.
I writing this recipe before I make this. So this may end up being a gluten-free spaghetti seafood marinara. I really want the courgetti to be easy and tasty. We’ll see…
OK, I actually wrote all this some time ago and while I did make various versions of this in the last while. I never actually took out my camera to document it.
Courgetti Seafood Marinara is a very quick and easy – and forgiving – dish.
What do I mean by forgiving? I mean you can use whatever ingredients you have to hand and it works great every time.
I love it.
What’s there to do Italy?
You may as well ask what’s there to do in Greece. So much of European culture is deeply rooted in the history of Italy. Have I been? I actually have to been to Italy but only once when I was a teenager.
I booked a holiday there in 2019.
Molise, it exists, is a region in Italy that is keen to increase the number of its population. In 2019 they offered €25,000 to be paid over 3 years to people to move there and start a business. Ideally they’d like young people or people with families, I think. That offer is now closed. But maybe they will offer something similar again. Who knows? There’s usually some EU funding you can get to start a business anyway – if you meet the relevant eligibility conditions.
I thought it sounded like a great initiative. So I was going to go there and maybe do a post on twimii about it. The notions I get for posts on twimii… Anyways, I booked the whole thing. And then the day before departure, when I was checking in online I discovered my passport had expired. I’m still smarting remembering this.
Yeah, I seriously need to get a little more on top of things…
Some inspiration for a trip to Italy
- 12 amazing things to do in Italy
- This is a list of 10 best Italian art and culture holidays in 2018 but I think the activities it lists are still current
- 33 (mostly culinary) things to do in Italy – this is a great list. I’m so glad I found it.
- 12 places for a foodie to visit. OK I don’t know how good the list is because I didn’t read it. But just look at those photos! Really want to book a trip now.
OK that’s enough inspiration. It’s just making me want to be a perpetual tourist.
What’s Italy like for coeliacs and the gluten-intolerant? Believe it or not, the land of pizza and pasta is apparently one of the best places for coeliac travelers.
Back to the Courgetti Seafood Marinara
This is a meal for one – but you can easily multiply the ingredients to make more.
I’m using frozen seafood as it’s easy to find in most supermarkets. There are pre-packaged seafood mixes you can buy. I prefer to buy a bag of prawns, a bag of mussels, etc and use when suits. But as I said above, this is a very forgiving recipe – so do what works for you.
In the photo below I have balsamic vinegar but in the end I decided to use white wine vinegar and some lemon juice instead.
I also have some parsley in there – I love parsley – but in the end I decided to not add that either.
With this kind of dish you just add what you feel like at the time.
- olive oil
- 1 courgette, spiralized or grated
- selection of frozen seafood (e.g. prawns, muscles, clams, etc)
- dried garlic powder
- white wine vinegar
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
- oregano, dried or fresh
- basil, dried or fresh, preferably fresh
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon
- First heat a little olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add in a little pat of butter. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper. When the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add in the courgetti and cook on a high heat for a couple of minutes, picking it up with a tongs or slotted spoon and moving it around every so often. You don't want the courgetti to brown, just soften. When it's done, remove from the pan into a bowl or plate for later use.
- Add a little more olive oil to the pan, add a generous pat of butter and when the butter is melted splash in some white wine vinegar. Add in the seafood and generously sprinkle over some garlic power. Cook the seafood until it is plumped up and cooked all through. Remove from the pan into a bowl for later use.
- As the seafood cooked in the oil, vinegar and garlic powder it released it juices. By the time the seafood is done these juices should be sightly thickened. If not let it reduce a little before stirring in the chopped tomatoes and crushed garlic. Let it cook on high for a few minutes so that the tomatoes soften and become more sauce-like.
- When the tomato sauce looks (and tastes) done reduce the heat and stir in the capers, oregano and basil. Let it simmer for just a minute or so more, and then turn off the heat.
- Add back in the seafood and sprinkle over some fresh lemon juice. Taste and add a little more salt or pepper or cayenne pepper, if needed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the olives.
- Pile the courgetti on a plate and top with seafood marinara from the pan. Enjoy!