Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pasta with Chickpea Sauce

All right fellow eater, before you just look at the title for this meal and skip it entirely, hear me out. This was surprisingly tasty and a fantastic way to get protein in your sauce without the use of meat (for all those vegetarians and vegans out there!). The pureed chickpeas actually make the sauce super creamy and rich -- the addition of the spices only heightens the total experience. Just enough heat to be slightly addicting and yet other subtle undertones that meld in so well and round out the meal. As with almost any pasta dish, throw some garlic bread in the oven and toss a salad and you have yourself a wonderful meal!

Pasta with Chickpea Sauce

Serves 6 (makes 8 cups)
Active Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving suggestions: A Caesar salad and some garlic bread to make it a traditional Italian meal.

What you'll need:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, liquid reserved, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chickpea liquid
  • 2 cups chunks of sweet onion
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup pureed carrots (opt)
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes with juice
  • a dash or two of red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBLS nutritional yeast (opt)
  • 1 TBLS basil
  • 1 TBLS oregano
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS red wine vinegar
  • Parmesan (opt garnish)
  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta

What you'll do:

  • Cook pasta according to package.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine chunks of onion, chickpea liquid, and chickpeas and pulse until creamy.  Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now put the carrots in the food processor and pulse until pureed.
  • In a large saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic until fragrant. 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, nutritional yeast (if using), spices, chickpea mixture, and carrots (if using).
  • Heat through.
  • Add vinegar and stir.
  • Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan on top.

Time Tip:

  • For a snappy version of this dish, take a 32oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and the 2 cans of drained chickpeas.  Puree beans and add to sauce and tomatoes.  Use powdered onion and garlic.  

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