Make Ahead

Pasta with Zucchini, Chickpeas and Gremolata Bread Crumbs

May 13, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Who says you need (expensive) meat to have a great dinner? The chickpeas, zucchini and gremolata-infused bread crumbs in this pasta dish make it flavorful, healthy and satisfying. The cost for this hearty meal for four is about $7 – and if you have zucchini and parsley growing in your garden, it's probably under $5!

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs made from good-quality bread
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thin half moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  1. To make the gremolata breadcrumbs, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet, add half the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, lemon zest and parsley and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned and crispy. Set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and red pepper flakes, and cook over medium heat, turning frequently with a spatula, until the zucchini is starting to turn golden (about 10 minutes). Add the remaining garlic during the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and then the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the reserved liquid to the zucchini mixture and cook for 2 additional minutes. Combine the pasta and squash, and stir gently. Serve topped with the breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
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  • cathyeats
  • Golab

2 Reviews

cathyeats January 25, 2012
Yes, 3/4 cup of the salted water that the pasta was cooked in is added to the zucchini mixture. You can start with less of the liquid and see if you think it needs the full 3/4 cup - some types of pasta are less starchy than others, so may require a bit less liquid. Let me know how you like it!
Golab January 25, 2012
In step 3, do you mean the water/salt combo the pasta was mixed in should be added to the zucchini mixture? Thanks, can't wait to try this! :-)