Just after Christmas I was hankering after something to eat that wasn’t so heavy on the roasted potatoes etc. I also had some vegetables that needed to be used. With the help of some pasta and a tin of chickpeas, this is (more or less) what I came up with.
Lemon and Chickpea Pasta
Serves 2-3 people. Unless you have a starter or something and then you can probably stretch it to more people. Except if you’re greedy and just want to eat it all yourself.
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small chili (red or green), finely chopped
½ of a small onion, finely chopped
2 carrots (approx. 120 grams), finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tin of chickpeas (approx. 200 grams), drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice (pref. fresh)
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt (or less if you prefer)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp rosemary
150 grams farfalle (butterflys/bows) pasta
(A small glass of water)
Boil the pasta in plenty of water with 1 tsp of salt. When the pasta is al dente (just cooked but not soggy yet), pour it into a colander, rinse well and set aside. No need to add oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking. Rinsing it well helps prevent the stickiness.
In a large sauce pan, add 3 tbsp water along with the garlic, chili and onion. Over medium high heat, fry until the onion goes soft. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. It may not look transparent in the same way it would if you used oil to fry in. Not to worry, it’s still cooked.
Add the herbs and spices and let everything mix together for a couple of minutes. Add a bit of water if things stick to the bottom.
Add the carrots and pepper and stir occasionally until they start to become soft, 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the chickpeas and mix everything together well at . Then add the tomatoes, stir occasionally until the skin of the tomatoes just start to loosen. Add 4 tbsp water and leave to simmer under lid at low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and zest, and stir everything together. Leave for 2 minutes at low heat.
Mix with the pasta and serve while piping hot.
If you want to make the recipe even healthier, you can add in more carrot and tomato and use less pasta. Or you could skip the pasta completely and use extra chickpeas in stead. Extra chickpeas is *always* good.
You can use other types of pasta, but I find that this particular shape is good for ‘catching’ the other ingredients. Like a little pasta spoon. ;-)
Please use this recipe as a starting point. For me, the lemon gave this dish the freshness I was craving after the heavy Christmas foods. But we all have different tastes. You might prefer less lemon or more chili etc. If you want to change the recipe next time, totally go for it!
Please use the zest of an unwaxed lemon. No one wants to eat wax. Organic lemon is preferable if you can get it, but if you can’t no worries. Just no wax. Wax must definitely be OFF. ;-)