Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pasta with Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes

Dr. Oz always gets up into my head. After I saw his episode featuring  The China Study, my husband and I both read it on his iPad, talked it over, and decided to reduce the amount of animal protein we consume, and replace it with plant-based protein.

We are finding the challenge of replacing animal protein to be a struggle. My skinny son drinks a lot of milk, (mostly due to an effort on my part to fatten that kid up!) I love eggs for breakfast, and I've realized that while I love vegetables, my default of menu planning is to work around meat. We've had some successful meals, and some "I-give-up-throw-in-the-chicken-nuggets" meals, but it's an on-going process.

The recipe called for penne pasta, but I had a box of shells to use up. This turned into a brilliant accident, as the chickpeas tucked themselves into the shells, making a a cute little dish.

My husband and I both really enjoyed this, and it made ALOT, perfect for leftovers for a few days. The flavor was great, and it was a surprising hit of a dinner.

I'm sharing this at Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight: Tomatoes.

 Pasta with Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

8 ounces penne pasta (I used whole wheat shells)
1/2 cup purchased plain hummus
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
24 oz cherry tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives (I used regular black olives)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Whisk hummus into liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large heavy skillet over high heat. Add cherry tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until blackened in spots, shaking skillet occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in chickpeas, garlic, and smoked paprika. Crush some of tomatoes to release juices. Add pasta and enough hummus mixture to coat. Mix in olives and cilantro; season with salt and pepper.

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