Chickpea Pasta Recipe
Chickpeas were originally cultivated in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. Their cuisine is rich with a wide variety of dishes incorporating this legume.
My love for chickpeas is no secret. It is a legume I would never tire of. I would simply eat it in any form cooked, be it in salads, stews, grain mix and even sweets. When I was a child, I recall my father giving my siblings and I a daily pocket money of ten qoroosh “pennies”. With a big grin we would gallop down the street from my grandmother’s house in Old Damascus to this small two by two candy shop where Abu Ahmed (meaning the father of Ahmad), sitting in his stool, would be waiting for his daily wee customers like us. With eyes lit up at the sight of candy jars sitting proudly on the shelves, the jar of roasted chickpeas coated in colourful hard icing sugar that came was already the one I had my eyes set on. He would tear a piece of newspaper and form it into a cone, and for ten qoroosh fill it up to the top with my favourite chickpea candy. These cones came in different sizes depending on how much one had to spend. My sister’s favourite was ground roasted chickpea flour mixed with sugar. My sister and I would have such a laugh at each other coughing as we ate it with flour flying everywhere. Simple delights fulfilled our childhood, bellies and souls.
When I first visited Italy back in my twenties, as does everyone else, I fell in love with the food. Every country has some sort of pasta in it’s cuisine, but none has an endless list of shapes and sauces like Italy. Even between Northern and Southern Italy, shapes and sauces vary, the names of which I have given up trying to remember.
The first time I had chickpea pasta was in the Abruzzo Region of Italy. Needless to say, I fell in love with it instantly. I have chosen to share this chickpea pasta recipe because it is really delicious, and on a long working day, dinner pronto in under 10 minutes. With this recipe I added fresh rosemary as it marries beautifully with chickpeas and chili.
Going down the lane of chickpea memories, I almost forgot to highlight how nutritious chickpeas are. Yes, we should eat it more often as as it is rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron and folate which helps form new cells. A perfect natural supplement for pregnant women…so ladies, if you are expecting please eat more of it. It is also high in vitamin Bs, a source of fuel, fibre which maintains a healthy gut and regularity, and protein although it lacks the amino acids found in meat. Despite chickpeas are not low in calories, they help one feel full, and in return reduce one’s appetite. Hence, it always forms a part of my dietary intake on those days I decide I go on a diet following an indulging holiday vacation.
- 1 tin organic chickpeas brine reserved.
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Red chilies to taste
- 1 spring rosemary
- 450 grams dried tagliatelle egg pasta
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice the garlic cloves and fry them along with chili in the olive oil until the garlic starts turning golden.
- Add the chickpeas with the brine and the rosemary, and season to taste. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 7 minutes or until brine is reduced to half.
- Drop the pasta in the boiling salted water and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking. Drain and toss in the chickpea sauce. Top with grated parmesan cheese and buon appetito.
When eating chickpeas consume with a fruit or vegetable which is high in vitamin C as it helps our body absorb the protein.
If your diet lacks fibre, eat chickpeas, in any form you would like, once a week.
For a faster dinner choose pasta that requires less cooking time.
You could experiment and try the same sauce mix with rice or quinoa.
Per Serving: 805 Calories; 21g Fat (23.5% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 125g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber; 110mg Cholesterol; 56mg Sodium.