Savory, rustic bread crumbs add depth and texture to this simple, cheeseless pasta dish.

Spaghetti with chickpeas, zucchini, and bread crumbs

Serves at least 4

About 3/4 pound uncooked spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 zucchini, chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how hot you like it

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

1 cup toasted bread crumbs

Salt, to taste

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.  Add spaghetti and cook until done.  Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, warm a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drizzle in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then add the zucchini.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute more.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, and hot pasta to the zucchini mixture.  Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and toss to coat.  Add pasta cooking water as needed for a loose, but not wet, consistency (about 1/2 c. should do it).  Stir in the bread crumbs and season with additional salt, to taste.  Serve immediately.

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