Faced with an imminent move, and with plenty of dried chickpeas and a butternut squash sitting on my counter that will not be making the trip to Texas with us, I decided to try a butternut squash and chickpea tagine. I do not own a tagine, but, as it turns out, a sauté pan with a lid works just fine as a stand-in.
This was a delicious meal, and definitely one I’d make again, even if not forced to be so creative. My only caveat is that it was a bit too spicy for my taste, and certainly too spicy to share with Nora (although she did have a couple of the chickpeas and didn’t seem phased). Next time I’d halve the amount of cayenne (which I have reflected in the recipe below).
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine
Based on this recipe
1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and soaked*
1 14.5-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs parsley, finely chopped, plus additional for garnish
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of water
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
a handful of pine nuts, toasted
Heat the olive oil in a deep sauté pan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, and then stir in the cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Add the paprika, tomato paste, sugar, 2 Tbs parsley, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and stir to combine. Add the butternut squash and the water, stir, and then cover with the lid. Once simmering, turn the heat down to low and cook covered for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat the vegetable stock to boiling and add the couscous. Stir, remove from heat, and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add the toasted pine nuts.
Serve the tagine over a bed of couscous garnished with additional chopped parsley.
* You can substitute canned chickpeas for a shortcut and just omit the cooking.