Spaghetti squash gets its name because once it's cooked, you can use a fork to pull the flesh into long, thin strands. Jonathon Sawyer makes his own curry and cooks his own chickpeas for this vegetarian dish, but this simplified recipe calls for store-bought curry paste and canned chickpeas. Sawyer roasts the seeds from the squash and uses them as a garnish; pumpkin seeds from the supermarket are a fine substitute.
1 (about 3 pounds) small spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons madras curry paste or curry powder
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Grilled peasant bread and toasted pumpkin seeds, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the halved spaghetti squash cut side up on a baking sheet and brush it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast the spaghetti squash for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is tender and lightly browned in spots. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and carrot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until they are just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, crushed red pepper, grated orange zest and curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the drained chickpeas and the water and simmer until the vegetables are very tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Using a fork, rake the squash into strands; you should have about 2 1/2 cups of squash. Add the chopped cilantro and squash to the curry and season with salt. Serve the curried squash over grilled peasant bread, garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.
I made this for my wife and she loved it. Great flavor and originality. I suggest backing off the red pepper flakes just a little, then adjust for the spicyness that you like. Also, be sure to measure the amount of spaghetti squash. Even a small squash produces more than you'll need, so if you dump it all in (as I did the first time I made it), the flavor won't be as intense.
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