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Chickpea Pasta with Basil/Mint Pesto

Delicious, gluten-free chickpea pasta is paired with tasty basil/mint pesto, sweet tomatoes, peppery arugula and briny Kalamata olives.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: arugula, chickpea, chickpea pasta, gluten free, kalamata, plant based, tomatoes
Servings: 4


Basil/Mint Pesto

  • 1 c. Fresh basil leaves/stems
  • 1/2 c. Fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 c. Toasted nuts (almonds, pine nuts, walnuts)
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • 1 Garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 c. Grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Several grinds Fresh black pepper
  • 1/3 c. Extra virgin olive oil

Chickpea Pasta

  • 1 lb. Chickpea pasta (dry)
  • 1 pint Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 - 1 c. Pitted Kalamata olives, halved (use more if you love olives)
  • 2-3 handfuls Baby arugula
  • 3-4 Tb. Feta, goat or parmesan (optional)


For the Pesto:

  • Add all ingredients (except olive oil) to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. While machine is running, slowly pour olive oil into the feeding tube. Stop when combined then transfer to a small bowl; set aside until ready to use. Note: if it seems just too thick, mix in a little more olive oil and/or a bit of lemon juice.

For the Pasta:

  • Fill a large pot with water + 2 Tb. kosher salt. Bring to boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. It typically takes 7-10 minutes, until cooked through and al dente). When done, reserve 1 c. pasta water then drain pasta in a colander and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • While pasta is warm, spoon in the pesto and mix. Little by little, add warm pasta water to smooth out the pesto and create a creamy texture. You may not need all of it, but you'll be glad you have it!
  • Mix in tomatoes, olives and arugula, sprinkle with cheese (if using) and serve immediately. (Optional - sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice for extra freshness before serving.)


Feel free to swap out the mint for fresh parsley.
This salad will likely serve 4 as a main course (depending on how hungry you are and what you toss in), or 6-8 as a side dish.