If I were to go to an Italian restaurant, and garlic prawn pasta of some variety, preferably with a hint of chilli, was to be on the menu then I would most certainly order that. It is a lip-smackingly delicious, lick the bowl clean sort of dinner.
The thing is, it’s usually swimming in oil and butter which is not very weight loss friendly. Boo hiss! The thing is, I won’t rest until I’ve made my meals as delicious as possible and my Garlic & Chilli Prawn Tagliatelli is absolutely a case in point.
The first thing you are going to need is a good nonstick frying pan and after using this one the past 4 months almost daily, I can highly recommend it. I found mine in TK Maxx, if you have one nearby to try. The ceramic coating is magically nonstick and means you can radically reduce the amount of oil you add to any dish:
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Once you have a reliable pain and a one-calorie oil spray you’re laughing. Next up, is the question of nutrition. Classically, this dish is nothing but prawns, seasoning and pasta. To make it a more balanced meal, I add some veg which I sauté before adding the prawns.
Courgettes and peppers are free food on Slimming World meaning that they are low calorie but have high nutrient-packing powers. Plus they are really delicious and add a lot of flavour to the dish. Next thing to do is to make sure you use enough garlic to both flavour the dish and also to give it a sticky edge as is caramelises around the veg and prawns as it cooks. 4-6 cloves are usually enough for me.
The addition of chilli is non-negotiable for me, but you can of course use as much or as little as you enjoy to eat. A teaspoon of chopped red chilli (which I buy ready chopped and frozen these days I’m afraid) is just about right for me. The final seasoning is a measured amount of Parmesan cheese.
Parmesan was a real revelation after I joined Slimming World. 5g is 1 Syn or you can have 30g for you Healthy Extra A choice (please check the website yourself for up to date Syn values). When you’ve grated out 5g you will be a little bit “mer, that aint going to satisfy me” but actually, it’s such a strong flavour that it is plenty. I use a fine Microplane grater for both the garlic and the cheese in this dish and it’s very handy to have in the kitchen drawer:
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Plus the trick of adding just enough of the starchy pasta water to lubricate the final dish turns all that sticky garlic and the modest amount of Parmesan into (in my humble opinion) a more than adequate replacement for all that oil and butter. You have to try this Garlic & Chilli Prawn Tagliatelli for yourself to see just how delicious you can make a dish without all that (glorious but calorie-laden) olive oil!
I’ve recommended these scales plenty of times before but they are essential now for everyday life on Slimming World as I can zero them with my plate on and measure my Parmesan onto finished dishes with confidence that I am weighing out an accurate amount every time:
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- Oil spray
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
- 1 tsp chopped red chilli (or as much as you like)
- 1 courgette, diced finely
- 1 yellow pepper, diced finely
- 1 small can of sweetcorn (1/2 cup)
- 200g fresh or frozen tiger prawns - raw, shell-off and deveined (1 cup)
- 2-3 nests of dried tagliatelli pasta
- 20g Parmesan (3/4 of an oz)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Start by putting your pasta on to cook. I do mine for half the stated cooking time in the Instant Pot on Manual High, just covering the pasta with enough water to submerge it).
- Preheat a good nonstick pan over medium-high heat and spray liberally with one-cal oil spray. When hot, add the chopped courgette and pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown around the edges. This can take 10 minutes if the pan is small or the heat not high enough so be brave and stir frequently!
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for until fragrant and sticky (a minute or two will do).
- Add the sweetcorn and prawns (you can cook them from frozen if you don't have fresh) and sauté until pink. Usually 2-4 minutes is enough.
- Drain the pasta and reserve a cup of the water. Add the pasta to the pan with the veg and prawns, and toss well.
- Now either add all the Parmesan into the pan or reserve half to garnish with. Stir well, dribbling in just enough of the pasta water to deglaze the pan and slick the pasta with all that gorgeous garlicky stickiness!
- Stir through the parsley and serve immediately.
For Slimming World Readers:
- This blog and recipe is in no way affiliated with Slimming World. Always check ingredients yourself against official Slimming World guidelines to see if they have Syn values or not.
- This dish can be entirely Syn free if you take however much Parmesan you want to add out of your HEA option.
- Parmesan is usually 5g for 1 Syn so add as much as you like within your daily Syn limits or HEA option amounts.
- This dish is 2 Syns per portion as it stands.
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