20th August 2019
This vibrant dinner combo is a meal I often create when the fridge is nearly empty. It makes the most of the selection of the autumn squash harvest, preserved tomatoes (or canned) and a frozen tub of cooked chickpeas from the freezer.
In this meal I use spaghetti squash, a cucurbit I first came across while living in North America a long time ago. They would arrive quite regularly in our CSA box (organic farm delivery) through the winter months so I got to know them well. When I started my own garden back here, one of the first seeds I searched out was spaghetti squash.
They aren’t the most accessible squash but can sometimes be found at supermarkets and markets. If you do come across one, save and dry some of the seeds to plant next to the compost heap in spring and you will get a good harvest of squash.
I must note, they aren’t as flavoursome as the fleshy squash varieties such as butternut, but they make up for it with their intriguing spaghetti-like texture. The key is to season generously before cooking and to serve with a punchy sauce such as these cumin chickpeas.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Cumin Chickpeas and Crispy Kale
- 1 spaghetti squash about 2kg, or butternut squash
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 600 ml tomato passata
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or a 400g can)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Knob of butter, about 25g
- 4-5 large leaves of curly kale
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Large pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Cut the squash into 2-3cm thick rounds and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a layer on a baking tray, brush with olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, place the ingredients for the cumin chickpeas into a shallow baking dish. Season well and stir to combine. Slide the dish into the oven rack below the squash and cook for 30 minutes until bubbly.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, composting the tough stalks. Place on a large baking tray, add the olive oil and salt and use your fingers to rub into the curly leaves. Arrange in a single layer and place in the oven when the squash comes out. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the tray, removing the outside pieces if they are ready and cook for another five minutes until crispy. Tip into a bowl.
- To serve, place a squash round on to each plate, top with a scoop of chickpeas, and scatter with crispy kale.