Ketogenic Spaghetti With Prawns, Pesto and Pistachios

Pete EvansFat for Fuel

Pete Evans and Dr. Mercola recently joined forces and created a new cookbook, “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook.” In this book you’ll discover easy and delicious recipes, along with practical tips on how to follow a ketogenic eating plan. CLICK HERE to order your copy now.

If you’re looking for a recipe that’s quick and easy to make but still packs the full flavors of a home-cooked meal, then this spaghetti with prawns, pesto and pistachios recipe from world-class chef Pete Evans is a must-try. With juicy prawns and zucchini noodles drenched in homemade pesto sauce, there’s no doubt that this is a dish that everyone will enjoy. Best of all, it’s loaded with nutrient-filled ingredients that make every bite a treat for your health.

For more scrumptious ketogenic recipes like this one, grab a copy of the “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook,” which will hit the shelves November 14. I teamed up with Pete to create this cookbook to help people start a ketogenic diet more easily through flavorful and healthy dishes.

Fresh and Zesty Spaghetti With Prawns, Pesto and Pistachios Recipe

Serving Size: 4


  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds wild-caught raw prawns or shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tails intact
  • 4 to 5 zucchinis , spiralized into thin noodles
  • Pesto:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large handful of basil leaves , plus extra to serve
  • 1 large handful of mint leaves
  • 2 ounces pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Chili flakes

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  1. To make the pesto, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until the herbs and nuts are finely chopped. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the prawns or shrimp with salt and pepper, then cook, in batches, for one minute on each side until just cooked through. Remove the prawns or shrimp from the pan and set aside, cover to keep warm.
  3. Wipe the pan clean and place over medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and the zucchini spaghetti and sauté for two minutes until the zucchini is almost cooked through. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the cooked prawns and the pesto and toss to combine.
  5. Transfer the spaghetti mixture to a large platter or serving plates, drizzle on some extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle over the pistachios, add a squeeze of lemon juice and scatter on some basil leaves and a few chili flakes, if desired.

Zucchinis contain plant lectins, which may have problematic effects on your health. To safely reduce their lectin content, I advise deseeding and removing the skins, as these are what contain the most amount of lectins. Use a spiralizer that removes the seeds or manually peel and deseed the zucchinis, and then cut them into thin strips using a knife. It may take a bit more effort, but the results are worth it.

Check Out the Numerous Health Benefits of Zucchini Noodles

There’s no doubt that the star of this tasty dish is the zucchini noodles. They are a healthy no-grain and no-wheat alternative to pasta, which is made from processed flour and contains gluten that may disturb your gut flora and promote yeast overgrowth. 1 But aside from keeping your digestive tract in check, zucchini noodles also provide an impressive array of nutrients, including:

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  • Antioxidants — Zucchini contains a variety of flavonoid antioxidants , including zeaxanthin, carotene and lutein — all of which help fight off free radicals, prevent diseases and delay the process of aging.
  • Potassium — Zucchini is an excellent source of potassium, a nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure levels, support cardiovascular health and improve bone and muscle strength. 2
  • Vitamin B — Zucchini is rich in vitamins B6, B1, B2, B3, choline and folate, which are all important for supporting the production of new cells, fighting free radicals, regulating the digestive system and balancing the blood sugar levels. 3
  • Zinc — Zucchini is a good source of zinc, which helps regulate blood glucose levels and supports the immune system. 4
  • Magnesium — A hundred grams of zucchini contain 4 percent of the daily recommended value for magnesium, which is one of the most important minerals in the body, as it affects numerous biochemical reactions.
  • Phosphorus — Zucchini contains high amounts of phosphorus, an essential mineral that boosts digestion, promote bone growth and support cognitive development. 5

Keep in mind, though, that most zucchinis available in the market today are genetically modified, so make sure that you purchase this vegetable from a healthy and organic source. The seeds and skin of zucchini also contain lectins , which may have a negative effect on your health. As mentioned above, don’t forget to peel and deseed them to reduce their lectin content.

What Makes Pesto Sauce Good for Your Heath?

A homemade pesto sauce makes for a zesty and nutritious dish, thanks to its herbs and spices. The main ingredient for this sauce is basil, which is considered one of the healthiest herbs.

Basil is rich in vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining good bone health, clear arteries and healthy blood clotting. It also contains vitamin A, which can help fight the effects of free radicals. Plus it has antibacterial properties, thanks to its volatile oil content. Some of the other herbs and spices that make pesto sauce nutritious include:

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  • Garlic — Garlic contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, essential enzymes and antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Mint — Mint contains antioxidants and minerals, such as zinc, copper and magnesium. It also has vitamins A, B2 and C.
  • Olive oil — Olive oil is known as a healthy oil that’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), making it useful for weight management and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Pine nuts — Pine nuts can help suppress the appetite, which makes it an ideal food for people who are trying to lose weight. It may also help boost energy, improve heart and eye health and prevent premature aging.
  • Black pepper — Black pepper is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin K, iron and fiber. It may also help get rid of toxins, control blood pressure levels and improve bone health.
  • Lemon juice — Lemon juice doesn’t contain fructose, which makes it safe to consume by diabetics. Its citric acid content is also a natural antioxidant.

Beware of Farmed Seafood: Make Sure That You’re Buying Only Wild-Caught Prawns

Seafood farms, also known as aquaculture, are touted as a “sustainable solution” to overfishing. However, numerous investigations have shown that these seafood farms are actually causing more ecological destruction by using immature fishes as feeds. To make matters worse, antibiotics and toxic pesticides are also being routinely used in shrimp farming. Exposure to these harmful chemicals may put you at risk of brain damage and antibiotic-resistant diseases.

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You can avoid these health hazards by avoiding all types of farmed seafood. Always choose wild-caught prawns, and make sure that you check the label of seafood products to determine where they were caught.

About Pete Evans

Pete Evans

Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create a healthy cookbook that’s loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook” is the perfect tool to help get you started on your ketogenic journey. CLICK HERE to order your copy now .

Pete has had numerous noteworthy contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the general public, but he’s also cooked a royal banquet for the Prince and Princess of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented his hometown at the gala GʼDay USA dinner for 600 in New York City.

Pete’s career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances including Lifestyle channel’s “Home” show, “Postcards from Home,” “FISH,” “My Kitchen Rules” and “A Moveable Feast.”

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Sources and References