I LOVE pasta. And the capital letters (I’m not shouting at you, I promise) don’t quite capture how much I love it. There is always a stock of multiple pastas in our cabinet, and I’ve been known to munch on a “few” pieces of pasta after it’s cooked, but before the dish is assembled. My husband often has to tell me to stop eating all the pasta so dinner can actually be completed and served.
Serious Eats is one of my favorite food sites, and I use it to find recipes, brush up on techniques discover new skills, and indulge my nerdy brain via The Food Lab. I’m not a big fan of dishes that are drenched in sauce, so I found their Pasta with Chickpea Sauce recipe pretty interesting, also because I almost always have chickpeas in the cabinet. I had some leftover mushrooms, so I added those in as well. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store at all to make this, which was nice.
Pasta with Chickpea Sauce
Because I already had canned chickpeas in the cabinet, I used those instead of soaking dry
ones. My immersion blender recently went into the trashcan after it stopped working, so I used my food processor instead to mash up the chickpeas.
The original recipe notes to use a short, ruffled pasta, but I used medium shells since that was what I had on hand. The sauce gets “stuck” inside the shells, which can sometimes be annoying depending on what type of sauce you’re using, but I liked it in this case – it was like bursts of sauce in each bite. Plus, it was really easy to eat this dish with just a spoon without any noodles running away from you through the fork tines and scraping down the sides to get every last bite of goodness.
I wanted to add a little more to the recipe since it was just pasta (not that that’s a bad thing!), so I added some mushrooms that I had leftover in the fridge from a previous meal. Next time, I think I’ll add some other vegetables as well, such as yellow or white onions and/or green bell peppers to give it some more depth (not that I really know what that means, but it sounded appropriate in this case).
I didn’t have any parsley (I rarely do), so I just sprinkled some Italian seasoning from the spice cabinet on top of each bowl.
Pasta with Chickpea Sauce
Adapted from: Serious Eats’ Pasta with Chickpea Sauce
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 oz. pasta (I use medium shells)
- 4 oz. baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Optional: other vegetables such as onions or bell peppers
- Optional: parsley or Italian seasoning to garnish
- Saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant
- Add the can of chickpeas, including the liquid, but reserving a handful of chickpeas to keep whole, and simmer for a few minutes until the chickpeas start to soften
- Blend everything together using immersion blender or food processor
- Add the remaining whole chickpeas that you reserved in step 2
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until it is almost done
- Meanwhile, saute the sliced mushrooms
- Drain the pasta, but leave about 1/2 cup of the liquid in the pot
- Add the chickpea sauce and simmer a few more minutes until the pasta is done and the sauce thickens
- Add the cooked mushrooms
- Top with Italian seasoning, parsley, or your favorite garnish
- Nom nom nom!
Estimated Nutritional Information (per serving): 421 calories; 4.5g fat; 0mg cholesterol; 585.2mg sodium; 24.1mg potassium; 78.2g carbs; 19.9g protein