In my quest to learn about new things or just to try foods I’ve never eaten, I recently stumbled upon spaghetti squash. I’d heard of it but I really hadn’t seen it up close before. So last week I spotted it at the grocery store and targeted it as my next culinary feat. I went online and did my homework to see what it looked like on the inside (self-explanatory) and how to cook it. Satisfied with my research I had the perfect idea that was both simple and brilliant: spaghetti-less spaghetti!
Since it would take some time to cook the spaghetti I decided to skip time with a traditional protein and opted to use chickpeas in my sauce. Years ago when I tried hummus for the first time, I fell in love with chickpeas. Then I had falafels and that love was solidified. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have a really unique and earthy flavor. I love’em so much that sometimes I rinse and dry them, pop them in the oven with some spices and eat them like beer nuts!
So yeah, chickpeas served as our main protein for this meal and I have to say I was more than pleased with the results. Then, there was the entertainment value of serving it to my husband without telling him what it was other than “spaghetti”. His response was classic, “it doesn’t taste like spaghetti, what is it?” Turns out he loved it though so now I just have to find more ways to use it because when autumn comes in Germany it is a veritable feast of squash!
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 15 oz. chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
- 1 green bell pepper
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- 1/3 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Poke holes into shell of squash and slather with olive oil. Place on baking sheet and cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until soft.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add onion and bell pepper.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until transparent.
- Add fennel seeds and garlic, cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in marinara sauce and tomato paste and bring to a boil.
- Add chickpeas and reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- When spaghetti squash is soft, remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes or until it is cook to the touch.
- When read you will have to split the squash in half and use a fork to scrape the insides until you release the ‘spaghetti noodles’ from the body. As you scrape it out, place it in a large mixing bowl so you can season with salt, pepper and herbs as you see fit.
- You can mix it together with the sauce or serve it underneath as pictured.