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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chickpea Pasta with Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Walnuts

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Last time my mom came to town, we made grilled pizza at our place and I blogged about it here. Later that weekend, Julia and my mom in turn made Ryan and me dinner. All four of us went crazy over the main dish, which they adapted from Mollie Katzen's Get Cooking. Before leaving that night, I made sure to copy down the recipe as they'd made it and was eager to make it once again. The second time was just as good as the first, though I substituted spinach for the arugula.

Mollie suggests a number of variations in her book for this recipe, based on what you like. Check out her book for the other suggestions, or just try this one which is absolutely fabulous! The dish is simple, oven-free, and has a unique flavor combination happening.

Chickpea Pasta with Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Walnuts
adapted from Mollie Katzen's Get Cooking
*serves 4-6

-1 can chickpeas
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp minced garlic
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp dried thyme (I omitted, didn't have on hand)
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 lb fresh mozzarella (cut into dice)
-1/2 lb small or medium-sized pasta shells (I used rotini this time because that's what I had, either work but I wouldn't use penne!)
-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
-2-4 cups chopped fresh spinach
-1/2 bag sun dried tomatoes, chopped
-3/4 cup toasted walnuts

1. Rinse chickpeas. Combine vinegar, garlic, salt, thyme, oregano, and olive oil. Whisk to mix. Stir in chickpeas, mozzarella, and lots of pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 min-1 hour.
2. Make pasta according to box. Drain and add to chickpea mixture.
3. Toss with parmesan, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and walnuts. Serve immediately.

**FYI, leftovers are good, but they do dry out some. If you have leftovers, you may want to rejuvenate with a sprinkle of olive oil and balsamic!

Did you notice the pictures kind of looked like this pasta salad? Totally different recipe, another great dish!