With spinach, lemon, garlic and Pecorino, this super easy chickpea pasta recipe is ready in about 20 minutes. It’s vegetarian and gluten-free.
This recipe is an ode to an ingredient that always makes my top 10 list of pantry staples. To put it simply, chickpeas are the absolute best. Whether at their most basic and dried, or at their most convenient and canned, with some straightforward easy cooking, you can create something pretty great.
And now at the grocery you can buy them transformed into chickpea flour pasta. To go with that, I like to sauté actual chickpeas until they are crisp and combine them with lemon, Pecorino cheese and garlic. It’s a quick meal that you can just spoon into a large bowl for a total vegetarian crowd-pleaser.
And you don’t have to aspire to entertain with it because it’s really the perfect dish for a busy weeknight too. It’s the kind that you will have on regular rotation.
There are so many alternative noodles out there. From whole wheat to lentil to black bean to quinoa, nowadays there are a lot more options than regular pasta. Not that there is anything wrong with the usual blend of flour, water and eggs.
These new versions pack in more nutrition including fiber and protein and are generally lighter on carbs and calories than traditional pasta. The flavor is different. I would say they are a bit chewier and have more texture. Just know going in that these pastas have their own personality and aren’t exactly trying to imitate the real thing.
Made from legumes, chickpea pasta is gluten-free. It’s available in lots of the familiar shapes. When you cook it, the water does develop a foam. That’s why I like rinsing it off before tossing it in warm sauce or pesto or in a skillet with oil and veggies.
This is what you need:
If you want to include more flavors and textures, you can treat this like a base and add a few extras including:
Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Make sure not to overcook it. You want the noodles to be al dente and have some bite. Rinse the pasta with cold water in a colander.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Sauté the chickpeas until they are golden and crisp. This will take 5-6 minutes. Stir them around the pan, so they cook evenly on all sides.
Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Keep cooking, giving the garlic 30 seconds to a minute to become fragrant.
Stir the pasta, lemon juice & zest and another tablespoon of olive oil into the chickpeas.
Add the spinach, Pecorino and parsley. Stir everything together. The greens will wilt in a couple minutes.
Sprinkle with additional Pecorino before serving.
This chickpea pasta recipe is great for a fast and easy lunch or dinner. You can serve it with a simple arugula salad or something a little more involved like a brussels sprout Caesar salad. I love it as a vegetarian main dish.
My favorite way to serve leftovers cold is as a pasta salad. I recommend adding fresh spinach leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Since cold food tends to need more seasoning than hot food, I also sprinkle on flaky sea salt and black pepper to finish it.
If you prefer eating it warm, reheat it on the stove with a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
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Let me know if you made this chickpea pasta. Please leave a comment and rating below. Thanks!
Delicious. Added more salt and pepper and pecorino when I served it. Added some pasta water to keep it from drying out. Packed with protein and will make again.
So easy to be sooo good!!
This was very easy and delicious! I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic and lemon juice instead of fresh lemon and it was still very good and filling.