Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for No Carbs Courgette ‘Tagliatelle’ with a Smoked Chilli Sauce

Anna Barnett

food3 263x300 Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for No Carbs Courgette Tagliatelle with a Smoked Chilli Sauce

I’ve just had my birthday and received a spiral slicer as a gift. If I hadn’t also got the biggest meat cleaver ever (sorry!) then this would  have been, without a doubt, my best present. This recipe is the way forward if you’re trying to avoid carbs but miss indulging in a pasta-like dish. Seeing as I love pasta, this massively appeals to me. Nothing can beat a really simple tomato sauce made with great fresh, ripe ingredients.


Smoked Tomato, Garlic & Olive Sauce

1 x Red Onion – Cut into 1cm x 1cm cubes

1 x Medium red chilli – Finely sliced

100g x Pitted black olives

3 x Large cloves of garlic – Crushed and finely sliced

1 x Tin of good quality plum tomatoes

1 x Large red pepper

1 x Tbsp of sugar

3 x Dried whole chillies

1/2 x Tsp of smoked paprika

Salt & black pepper

2 x Big glugs of olive oil – To cook onions and garlic in

2 x Medium sized courgettes – Thoroughly washed

Bunch of rainbow chard – Thoroughly washed

1 x Nob of butter

Salt & pepper

IMG 1388 262x300 Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for No Carbs Courgette Tagliatelle with a Smoked Chilli SauceInstructions:

Start with getting your tomato sauce cooking: You want this to cook for as long as possible. Begin by adding your finely diced onion, garlic, olives and red chilli to a generous amount of olive oil. Two glugs at least. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onion is translucent and caramelised.

Add your tin of tomatoes, paprika and tablespoon of sugar and let this cook for at least 30 minutes on  a low heat. Cook for as long as possible, an hour or hour and a half will make the sauce even better. Make sure you check the seasoning before serving and add a handful of freshly chopped parsley plus extra fresh chilli.

Blacken your red pepper by either adding it directly to the gas on your hob or by grilling it in the oven so you get a nice chargrilled and sweet taste to the pepper. If you’re using gas, be careful when turning the pepper, making it blacken evenly. Be sure to use tongs.

Instead of the pasta, take your spiral slicer and twist the fresh uncooked courgette through it, so you end up with spaghetti like spirals of courgette. Cook these in a tiny amount of oil on a medium heat with a dash of salt for 2-3 minutes so they’re still nice and crunchy.

You’re ready to serve.


Follow Anna on Twitter @GETINMYGOB

  • gregipoh

    Please don’t get angry thinking I’m being negative- I just did the recipe, but with some adjustments and it was really great, so I just wanna ask you some questions – please-

    1- I haven’t seen “smoked tomato and olive oil sauce on the shelves, but bearing in mind the recent revelations about substitutions of palm oil etc for olive oil, maybe best we make our own? I read the ingredients in ready-made sauces and it’s scary, and they’re crazily expensive.

    2- I keep reading stuff in particularly the Mail online saying “don’t buy tinned tomato products, as the tin reacts with the tomato” and you’ll die in 3 seconds. I’m exaggerating of course in the last bit, but I’m ADDICTED to V8 veg juice in the big tin can- it’s mainly tomato based innit? Am I being paranoid believing that stuff??

    3- Sugar? well ALL the far eastern countries would put 3 times the sugar in but I put NONE in!!

    4- Dried chillies- they taste of NOTHING to me, so I just triple the fresh chillies.

    5- Salt- I don’t add and it still tasted great.

    6- IS it true- I’d really appreciate info on this- that olive oil, above a certain temperature is unhealthy? I’ve cut out butter, salt, sugar and booze, and increased my exercise but am STILL a fat old pig. Do we have to keep the olive oil at a low temperature?


    8- Butter- I’m STILL managing to avoid it. I had to actually throw away my toaster.

    So: I sound picky and bitchy maybe, but I have health problems. The dish is actually fabulous. Don’t feel I’m being critical- by comparison most of the dishes in the Guardian seem really calorific and unhealthy.

  • Pish

    “No carb” but a tablespoon of sugar? Oops!

  • zumbruk

    #1 – Utter bunk. Eat as many tinned tomatoes as you like.

    #5 – Define “unhealthy”. Olive oil has a lot of calories in it, but if you must eat oils, then it’s probably one of the best. If I were cooking this recipe, I’d use a tablesponful, not “a couple of glugs”. And it burns at a relatively low temperature, so don’t use it for stir frying, but it’s fine in this recipe.

  • gregipoh

    Thanks for the reply- useful. gregipoh

  • icarus_69

    Don’t defame the Brits. Many of us do know how to cook courgettes.

  • Maori

    #1, it’s not necessarily utter bunk.

    “Concerns” are growing about the amount of BPA (a provably toxic substance) added to the canning process. Two suppliers at least – Eden Food and Trader Joes – have removed the BPA. Almost nobody else has. The tinned-foods industry has moved at a glacial pace compared to the plastic bottle industry. And yes, the amount of BPA in some tests (18 parts per billion) is certainly at the probably toxic, dangerous, level at just half a can.

    It’s a shame you can’t get plum tomatoes in glass bottles, at least you can get passata in glass.

    You should also check the salt levels in your tinned/glass tomatoes. They can have very levels of salt, depending on the brand. There’s no benefit to dodging a teaspoon of salt in the recipe if you’re adding a desert spoon via the tomatoes!

  • ChiefWhiteHalfOat

    What’s a “meat clever”?

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