Pasta & Rice Dishes / Vegetarian / Weeknight Dinner

Harissa, I Love You.

For those of you that haven’t had harissa before, you’re missing out. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite condiments. Essentially, it’s a spicy hot chili sauce (kind of like Sriracha, but better) found in a lot of North African dishes. You can use it as a rub for meat, spread on top of fish, tossed in with vegetables, stirred into soup, spread on bread or in a sandwich…It also makes a great dipping sauce for fries (and falafels). Some variations have a smoky flavor to them, while other ones I’ve tried had almost a sweet aftertaste. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find prepared harissa in stores here in the United States (or at least where I live). I’ve yet to see authentic Tunisian harissa, whether canned or tubed, anywhere.

However, this December I was lucky enough to stop at Central Market in Poulsbo and lo and behold, they had not one, but TWO varieties of harissa in jars! The first was in olive oil and the other was a roasted tomato variety. I ended up going with the roasted tomato kind, made by Restaurant Lulu (based in San Francisco). It’s not exactly the most authentic, but it sounded worth trying, and I liked that it wasn’t as oily as the other one being sold there.

Anyways, I decided to bust open my jar today and use it with some of the massive amount of spaghetti squash I’ve got in my fridge. Harissa is pretty versatile and pairs nicely with most proteins, so I figured I’d see how it tasted with egg and veggies mixed into the squash.

First, I thinly sliced some of the sweet onion I had in the fridge and cooked it in some vegetable broth to soften it up a bit.

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Then, I added some fresh baby spinach and a bit more broth and cooked things until the leaves were wilted.

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After that, I added my spaghetti squash and about a tablespoon of harissa and stirred everything until the ingredients were well combined.

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Once that was done, I fried up an egg (using the same pan, because I’m lazy).

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Once the egg was done, I added it on top of the spaghetti squash mixture and topped the whole thing off with a bit more harissa.

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This might be my new favorite way to eat spaghetti squash. Seriously, so delicious. The runniness of the egg, the slight kick of the harissa… It was hard not to make seconds! I really liked the roasted tomato flavor of the harissa, too. It’s not as spicy and strong as harissa usually is, but delicious nonetheless. It would be awesome in a pasta dish!

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This was super simple to make, so it’s hardly worth posting a recipe, but here you go anyways:

Harissa and Egg Spaghetti Squash (serves 1)
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 oz thinly sliced sweet onion
vegetable broth
salt & pepper, as needed
1 large egg
cooking spray
2 tbsp harissa

In a medium pan on medium-high heat, cook onions in vegetable broth until they soften. Add spinach and more broth, as needed. Stir until spinach is wilted. Add spaghetti squash and 1 tbsp of harissa to the pan and stir about 2 minutes, until ingredients are well distributed and warm. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

Clean the pan and spray with cooking spray. Cook the egg until done and add to the top of the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with remaining harissa.

If you’re feeling adventurous or can’t find harissa in stores, you can always make your own. Here’s a recipe for traditional harissa that’s relatively simple.

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