Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Zucchini & Chickpea Spaghetti with Hot Paprika

Zucchini & Chickpea Spaghetti with Hot Paprika

The marine layer is back.

This is as close to a change in the seasons as we get in Southern California. Thick cloud cover for most of the day, sometimes burning off a little after midday where I live in the hills. But by the ocean, the layer persists most of the time.

I actually love the chill in the air and the murky sunlight. It gives me a chance to take a breather -- to not have to be go, go, go all the time. To not feel guilty for staying inside, hunkered down with my creaky old white MacBook (I don't even think they make these anymore). Working away on my next novel -- a daunting, but exhilarating task. Like scaling a mountain. Only you don't know the route to take, nor can you see the summit. It's hidden in the clouds.

All you have is hope and a prayer that you'll make it. Will power. It's all up here, in my head, somewhere. I hope I can shake it out, onto the page.

After this post, it's back to work on the story. I'm only at the beginning...

So here's a Meatless Monday recipe that I love. It combines zucchini (though any summer squash will do) and chickpeas with a whole wheat spaghetti. To boost the flavor and make a lovely sauce, I add Hot Paprika (though smoked or regular will work, too). I finish the dish with a dusting of fresh grated parmesan.

This is an easy, healthy recipe that cooks up quickly. It's also hearty and comforting, perfect for these cloudy fall days.

Zucchini & Chickpea Spaghetti with Hot Paprika
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes
Print Recipe

  • 3 cups zucchini, diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 vegetable stock 
  • 1 pound whole grain spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • parmesan reggiano for grating

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the squash and cook until becoming tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for one more minute. 
  3. Add the stock and paprika, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
  4. Add the pasta to the saute pan and toss with the zucchini and chickpeas. If needed, add more stock to keep everything moist. 
  5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. To plate, scoop some pasta into a wide-bottomed  bowl. Top with freshly grated parmesan reggiano. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
  • hot paprika from All Spice
  • zucchini and shallots from West Hollywood Farmers Market
  • organic chickpeas, whole wheat spaghetti, parmesan reggiano, and extra virgin olive oil from Trader Joe's


  1. I love the marine layer. It really hasn't burned off for the past few days here in the South Bay. I definitely get more done when my house doesn't feel like a furnace. Interesting & easy recipe. I'm saving it for the future.

  2. Yes, I love this recipe. It's simple, but very flavorful. Glad you're enjoying the cloudy weather, too. xoxo