Whole Food Wednesday: Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Basil

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6/17/2015. Rotini with roasted grape tomatoes, chickpeas, and fresh basil.

Since we are trying so many new plant-based recipes, I thought I would share one of our new favorites. My husband made this for dinner tonight and it was quick, uncomplicated, and absolutely delicious.

The original recipe calls for 12 ounces whole-grain spaghetti, but we had whole-wheat rotini on hand, so that is what he used. Any whole-grain pasta will do. The original recipe also calls for cherry tomatoes, but we prefer the grape tomatoes so that is what you see pictured here. This dish reminded me quite a bit of another pasta dish my daughter discovered last summer, which calls for white beans, garlic, fresh basil, and fresh chopped tomatoes. Really, I think you could try just about any kind of beans in this and it would be great.

The thing that sets this dish apart is the roasted tomatoes. The original recipe calls for 1 pound of tomatoes, but we will definitely add more next time. Cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic, and roast them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the tomatoes are roasting, start boiling the water for pasta. When the tomatoes need only about 10 minutes left to cook, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to your package’s instructions. Save 1 cup of the pasta water as you drain it.

While the pasta is cooking and the tomatoes are finishing roasting, chop 1 cup fresh basil. More is even better! You can’t put too much basil or tomatoes in this dish! I prefer to cut my basil with my Ball herb scissors, but stacking the leaves and rolling them up to slice them into ribbons is quick and works well also.

When the pasta is drained, put it in a large serving bowl and quickly add the chopped basil (to get it cooked a bit by the hot pasta), the roasted tomatoes, and a 15-ounce can of chickpeas or cannellini or your other favorite beans. Toss it and add some of the reserved pasta water to moisten to your taste. Add your favorite salt (mine is Pink Himalayan),  freshly ground pepper, and more of the granulated garlic for an amazingly easy whole-food, plant-based meal.

We had planned to serve this up with a leafy green salad but got pressed for time; any vegetable medley would be great as a side, or even tossed right into the pasta dish. Follow with fresh fruit for dessert–Bing cherries are in season now and were great after our meal. We have so many leftovers that we will be eating this for lunch and side dishes for several more days. I plan to add some additional veggies, such as grated carrot or zucchini, for variety.

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The chickpeas are very hard to see here; they are camouflaged by being the exact same color as the whole-wheat pasta.

This recipe is from The Forks Over Knives Plan: A 4-Week Meal-by-Meal Makeover (How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet) by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD.

Thanks for reading today’s post. Please stop back soon or follow my blog for more posts about living a simpler, healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle!

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