Friday, December 3, 2010

Tomato and Chickpea Spaghetti

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is food, and of that, my favorite meal is a great big bowl of pasta. There’s something so nourishing and comforting about hot and filling pasta with a wide variety of accompaniments. Pasta can often feel like an indulgence, because so many Italian restaurants rely on cream and meat based sauces. You can get half your day’s calories in lunch alone at say Pasta Pomodoro, or The Olive Garden. But, this needn’t be so. Pasta, particularly of the whole grain variety, can be a good source of fiber, and a willing foundation for slow simmered sauces full of delicious, and healthy ingredients.

This pasta dish was pulled from my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen, who borrowed it from New York Magazine, who presented it as the ultimate carbo-load for New York City Marathon runners. Don’t let this deter you; this pasta may be loaded with carbs, which are incidentally good for you, but also lean sources of protein in the chickpeas, and plenty of flavor from the tomatoes and basil. The variety of textures provides a unique satisfaction that I could not get enough of. This was so good that I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. The original recipe calls for pancetta and parmesan which I happily omitted, and my own substitution of whole grain spaghetti, shifting this dish from slightly decadent to wholly virtuous. So this weekend, if it’s cold and rainy (or snowy) where you are, give this dish a try. You’ll love it! 

2 onions sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch basil leaves sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the wine and simmer until almost completely absorbed.

Set aside 2/3 cup of the chickpeas, and place the rest of the chickpeas in a food processor with the vegetable stock. Pulse until the chickpeas are chopped.

Add the chopped chickpeas, tomatoes, and basil to the skillet. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions. When the pasta is almost done, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid, and then drain. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the remaining chickpeas. Toss, adding the pasta liquid if necessary. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment