Courgetti spaghetti with tomato and butter bean pesto

Preparation time
less than 30 mins
Cooking time
no cooking required
Serves 4

This super-quick, no-cook, no-fuss vegan dish is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional spaghetti pesto.

Equipment and preparation: For this recipe, you will need a julienne peeler.

This meal provides 378 kcal, 10g protein, 14g carbohydrate (of which 5g sugars), 31g fat (of which 6g saturates), 11g fibre and 0.9g salt per portion.

By Hemsley + Hemsley
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For the pesto
400g tin butter beans, drained
2 fat garlic cloves
10 sun-dried tomatoes
75g/2½oz fresh basil, reserve a few leaves to garnish
4 tbsp lemon juice
pinch chilli flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the courgetti spaghetti
6 courgettes, trimmed
2 large ripe avocados, skin and seeds removed, chopped
red chilli, chopped, for garnish
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Recipe tips
For the pesto, blend all of the ingredients and 9 tablespoons water to a rough paste in a food processor. Add extra water to loosen the mixture if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the courgetti spaghetti, peel spaghetti-like strands from the courgettes using a julienne peeler, collecting them in a large mixing bowl.
Scrape the pesto on top of the courgette strands and carefully stir until the courgette is evenly coated.
To serve, pile the courgetti spaghetti and pesto onto serving plates and top with the chopped avocado, reserved basil leaves, chopped chilli and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe Tips
Tip 1: Cover any leftover pesto with oil, then store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Tip 2: Add an extra 1 tbsp of water to the pesto mixture if using sun-dried tomatoes that are not in oil.

Tip 3: If you don’t have a julienne peeler, use a normal vegetable peeler to slice the courgette lengthways into very wide ribbons, then julienne these using a knife.

Our paella

Preparation time
less than 30 mins
Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 6
Transport the quintessential flavours of the Mediterranean into your kitchen with our delicious recipe for paella.

By The Hairy Bikers
From Hairy Bikers’ Best of British
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1 tbsp olive oil
6 chicken thighs, boned, skinned, cut in half (about 600g/1lb 5oz)
150g/5oz cooking chorizo, skinned and cut into 5mm/¼in slices
4 garlic cloves, crushed
300g/10½oz fresh large tomatoes, halved, seeds removed, flesh grated (then skin discarded)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 lemon, zest only
1.5 litres/2½ pints hot chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
200g/7oz green beans, cut into short lengths
500g/1lb 2oz paella rice
1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in a little warm water
couple handfuls live mussels, cleaned, de-bearded and rinsed (discard any mussels that do not snap shut when tapped)
12 raw king prawns
lemon wedges, to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a 36cm/14in paella pan or a very large frying pan set over a medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry for five minutes, turning regularly until lightly coloured. Add the chorizo and cook for a further minute.
Add the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes, then push everything to one side. Add the tomatoes and fry for a few minutes, then mix everything together and sprinkle in the paprika and lemon zest. Pour in all but a large ladleful of the chicken stock and return to the boil. Add the bay leaves, thyme and green beans and season with a little salt.
When the chicken stock has returned to the boil, turn down to a simmer and sprinkle in the rice, trying to get it into as even a layer as possible. Pour in the saffron and stir – this is the only time you should stir your paella once the rice has been added! Bring to the boil again, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down and leave the rice to simmer slowly – this should take between 12-15 minutes. If it is getting dry, taste – if still a little too firm (crunchy), add a little more stock. When you are satisfied the rice is al dente, arrange the mussels and prawns over the paella. Cover with a damp teacloth or a lid if you have one and wait for the mussels to steam open and the prawns to turn pink. Serve with lemon wedges.

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