Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini Ribbons, Chunky Tomato Sauce and Toasted Chickpeas

Spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta is great when the mood hits for a light dish. A usual preparation is to serve it pasta style with a rich meaty tomato sauce. In this recipe it serves as the base for our meatless Monday dinner topped with sautéed zucchini ribbons, a tomato concasee sauce, and toasted garbanzo beans. We like the layers of texture, color and crunch from the mix of vegetables and legumes. The recipe yields 4 servings.

recipe after the jump

Spaghetti Squash
1 large spaghetti squash
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Water for the pan

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. With a sharp knife, trim the ends of the squash to create a flat surface
3. Stand the squash on one end and cut the squash in half lengthwise
4. Scoop the seeds and membrane out of the squash halves with a spoon
5. Place the squash halves in a baking dish cut side down
6. Add enough water to come half way up the sides of the squash
7. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes
8. Remove the squash from the oven and with a spoon or tongs carefully turn the squash cut side up
9. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg
10. Return to the oven and bake additional 10-15 minutes until the sides are soft
11. Remove from the oven and cool
12. Run a fork lengthwise through the squash to release and separate the flesh. Cover with foil and keep warm.

Toasted Garbanzo Beans Ingredients 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and dried 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped Pinch (small) of red pepper flakes Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, when hot (not smoking) add the garbanzo beans.
2. Cook the beans, tossing them often in the pan, until they form a crust. (about 10-15 minutes) They will "pop" in the pan as they cook.
3. If there is oil left in the pan, tilt the pan and drain the oil.
4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped rosemary, garlic, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to the garbanzo beans. Stir to mix.
5. Cook until the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant.
Tip: Left over toasted garbanzo beans make a great garnish for salad, topping for sautéed greens or mix-in for tuna salad.

Tomato Sauce 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 8 Roma tomatoes 1 large yellow onion, medium dice 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. With a serrated peeler, skin the tomatoes. (Or score with an x on the bottom, blanch in boiling water and peel)
2. Cut the tomatoes horizontally in half. With a spoon or your thumb, scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into a medium dice.
3. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan. When oil is hot (not smoking) add the onions and sauté until translucent. Turn the heat to medium.
4. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes.
5. Cook the sauce until the tomatoes soften. Season the sauce with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the red wine and continue to cook until the wine cooks out.
6. Remove the sauce from the pan and place in a bowl, cover to keep warm.
7. Wipe out the pan and use to prepare zucchini.

Zucchini Ribbons Ingredients 2 large zucchini 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. With a mandolin, slice zucchini length wise into thin strips
2. Heat the sauté pan, add the extra virgin olive oil
3. Sprinkle both sides of the zucchini strips with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the oil is hot (not smoking) sauté the strips in a single layer (batches) until golden brown. Turn and brown the second side.
5. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Tips: Sauté in a non-stick pan and use less oil.
The zucchini ribbons can be roasted in the oven in a single layer instead of sautéing.

Mound ¼ of the spaghetti squash on a plate. Place zucchini ribbons over the mound. Spoon the sauce over the zucchini. Top with garbanzo beans.

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