I am sorry but not sorry, Canada.
I am sorry that this was one really long and cold winter. But I am not sorry I missed it.
Last week, I returned to Canada. In Montreal, I was greeted by mountains of snow banks that still had to melt away. However, by the end of my stay, a fresh blanket of snow covered the city in near white-out conditions. My flight home was cancelled but Air Canada thoughtfully put us on a later flight, skirting the worst of the storm.
(People poo-poo Air Canada but I like flying with them, especially compared to any airline based in the US. I can catch up on my movie watching (no additional charge!) and sometimes they even give me pretzels (HA!)).
Knowing full well that warm meals are still in season (even Houston’s weather has tamed somewhat), I am unashamedly sharing yet another winter squash recipe. In March. Because, yes, they are still on my counter and based on my last post with kabocha squash, still in your kitchens, too. Plus, this dish was too good to hide until next year.
It is a deceivingly simple recipe: spaghetti squash, kale, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika and curry powder. In fact, it sounded downright weird. However, after I tasted it, it made sense. A lot of curries are tomato-based and while I don’t use tomato, sun-dried tomatoes deliver intense bursts of tomato flavour without sauciness. Smoked paprika adds a different twist so this isn’t a boring, bland curry. Chickpeas add protein and bulk. The kale is more earthy but a barely noticeable way to eat some greenery. The spaghetti squash is merely a backdrop but sops up the flavours deliciously. This dish made fabulous leftovers, allowing the flavours to meld even further.
Did you get walloped with more snow this weekend, too?
This is my submission to this month’s Pasta Please for tomatoes.
Kale Ribbons and Chickpeas with Curried Spaghetti Squash
Adapted from Wild About Greens
1.5 lb spaghetti squash (1 small squash, or half a large one)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bunch kale (200g), stemmed and thinly sliced
1.5 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, softened and cut into strips
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place rack in centre of oven. (If you are fancy, try smearing the halved squash with garlic, oil and salt and pepper first). Pierce the spaghetti squash multiple times with a fork or knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate squash and bake another 30 minutes or until the shell feels soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once the squash has cooled, cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds and scrape the strands of squash out with a fork.
2. Once the squash has cooked, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden, around 1 minute more.
3. Add the sliced kale to the skillet along with a touch of water to keep it moist. Raise the heat to medium-high, cooking the greens until a brilliant green, stirring often. Stir in the spaghetti squash strands, chickpeas, curry powder, smoked paprika and chile flakes, to taste. Continue to cook and stir the squash for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the kale ribbons are tender, but still nice and bright. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and any soaking water if the dish looks dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Serves 2. Easy to double!