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.
- 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
- 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.