Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Curry-Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Chickpeas

In an attempt to eat healthier, save dollars, and rotate my long-term food storage I'm making an effort to cook more meatless meals. This dish is one of my new favorites. De-li-cious!!

What I love about this curry spaghetti meal is:

  • The whole wheat pasta adds a great nutty flavor to the dish.
  • I didn't have curry powder on hand so I used the substitution of the 5 spices listed below. I really liked the fresh flavor of the spices versus premixed curry and will definitely be using this fresh mixture in the future.
  • The fresh goat cheese topping adds a tart flavor that completes the blend of pepper heat and warm curry.
  • The Hawaiian chile pepper I had on hand is very hot so for the my kids' benefit I substituted a shake of cayenne pepper to give the dish some kick but not too much.
  • Garbanzo beans/Chickpeas. ("Tomato. Tomahto.") I love these little beans. They add a solidity to this dish making it more than just noodles and sauce. They're like the meatball to this Mediterranean pasta.

Curry-Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Chickpeas

1 lb whole wheat or other whole grain spaghetti
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fresno or other fresh chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp mild curry powder (or about 2 tsp turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander, and a scant 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon and cardamom)
1/2 cup dry white wine, chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 can (28 to 32 oz) san marzano tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
Grated aged goat cheese or tangy pecarino-romano cheese, for topping
Flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and add the pasta. Cook to al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil, a couple of turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion, chile pepper and garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder (or your own curry blend) amd season the salt. Stir to toast the spices for a minute. Deglaze the pan with the stock.

Add the tomatoes and crush with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced, 15 to 20 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and reserved pasta cooking water to combine. Top with the cheese and parsley (or cilantro).

Who Dished it first? Rachael Ray

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