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Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Quinoa-Falafel 'Meatballs'

Day PartDinner
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeItalian

Executive Chef John Graziano
The Valley Hospital
Ridgewood, N.J.

Spaghetti and meatballs get a vegan makeover at The Valley Hospital, where chef Graziano starts with a base of whole-grain pasta and creates meatless balls with chickpeas and quinoa seasoned with fresh herbs. A creamy curry sauce made with pureed butternut squash, coconut milk and almond butter finishes off the dish. The revamped recipe is high in vitamins and fiber and contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.


3 lb. whole-grain spaghetti
6 lb. butternut squash, cut in 1-in. cubes
3 oz. olive oil

1 1/8 cups curry powder
3 qt. low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
9 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
6 tbsp. organic almond butter
2 tbsp. ground white pepper
2 tbsp. kosher salt

Quinoa-falafel balls
2 1/4 lb. drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
6 tbsp. minced garlic
6 tbsp. minced onion
3/4 cup organic tahini
6 lemons, juiced
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. ground white pepper
6 oz. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 1/2 lb. cooked quinoa
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lb. frozen baby sweet peas, thawed
3 cups toasted almonds


1. Prepare pasta: Cook spaghetti for half the time indicated on package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking.
2. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller or walk-in. Store in sealed plastic bags or container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
3. Prepare sauce: Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss squash cubes with 3 ounces olive oil. Add curry powder and toss to coat. Spread squash on sheet pan; roast until golden brown.
4. In batches in food processor, puree squash, broth, coconut milk and almond butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
5. Prepare quinoa-falafel balls: In batches in food processor, pulse chick peas with mint, parsley, garlic, onion, tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 3 oz. olive oil until chunky. In large bowl, combine chunky mixture and quinoa; toss with flour until well mixed.
6. Form mixture into 1-ounce balls, making 120 in total. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
7. Per serving, to order: Reheat 1 cup pasta in simmering water. Meanwhile, heat 3/4 teaspoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute 5 falafel-quinoa balls in hot oil until golden brown. Bring about 1 cup squash puree to a simmer.
8. Drain pasta and add to squash puree. Add 1 ounce peas and heat through. Plate the pasta with browned falafel balls and top with 2 tablespoons almonds.

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