Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Cooking? Pasta with Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes

Pasta with Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes is on the menu here at Chez Eclipse tonight.  So get ready!  I have made this three times before, and it was a winner all three times... so, now I will pass the recipe on to you.  Lucky Duck!

I found this culinary delight in the Feb 2011 issue of Bon Apetit.   This is one of the magazines I subscribe to, and always seem to find something yummy.  I do wish they had more vegetarian recipes, but I guess that is why I also subscribe to Vegetarian Times.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it is high in protein (from the beans) and low in fat (it is vegan).  Very filling.  Very easy.  Can be adapted easily - I'll share my changes with you after the original recipe.

Get out your skillet.  Boil some H2O.  Set the table.  Bring your appetite.  And Enjoy!

Pasta With Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes

8 oz. penne pasta
1/2 cup plain hummus (store bought, unless you make your own)
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-12 oz. bags of cherry tomatoes
1 - 15 oz. can of garbanzo/chickpea beans, drained
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 c. halved, pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Cook the pasta.  ****reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water (I almost always forget this part)****.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat.  Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt an pepper.  Cook until they are blackened in some spots, shaking the skillet occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Mix in the chickpeas/garbanzos, garlic and paprika.  Crush some of the tomatoes to release juices.

Mix the hummus with the reserved pasta water (hope you remembered to reserve it).  Add hummus mixture to the pasta, mix to coat.  Mix in the chickpea mixture, olives and cilantro.

My changes:
I used rice pasta instead.  There are some really nice organic, brown rice pastas readily available.  We have been trying to reduce our gluten intake and rice pasta fits the bill.  It has a good texture, not the same as white flour pasta, but good.
We also quadruple the amount of black olives!  Seriously, we use like 2 cups.  John and I think that the olives make the dish, and the Kid absolutely loves olives.
I also only use dried beans; as I have said before, we do not eat anything from a can.  There is BPA in the lining of cans, and I don't want that crap in our bodies (this is nearly impossible to avoid, but that is a topic for a different discussion).  So I rinse the dried beans, and then boil them on high for a while (40 minutes maybe), turn the burner off and let them stand in the hot water for maybe an hour.  Then I taste test to see if they are cooked... if not I just repeat the process.  OK, I know this sounds like more work, but it isn't, and it is worth it.  Then you just measure the beans you need, and freeze the rest.

This is delicious, easy, and healthy!  Let me know what you think.

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