This deliciously creamy pasta with spinach, carrots and chickpeas is wholesome, nutritious, vegan and guilt-free, too! The flavor of the chickpeas complemented by cashew cream will get even the pickiest kid to crave for this pasta. The chickpeas also make this recipe a high-protein one, ideal for vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute. Use roasted vegetables as a side for the creamy vegan chickpea pasta and you get a healthy balanced meal. Here I have made roasted pumpkin with rosemary and oregano.
We saw the health benefits of chickpeas in this chickpea soup recipe.
Here are some interesting facts about chickpeas:
- Chickpea flour can be used to make fritters, desserts and crepes.
- The brine from chickpeas can be used as an egg white replacement to make meringue.
- Fight wrinkles, age spots and even acne with a chickpea flour topical paste.
- Chickpea flour can be used to wash away dandruff from your hair.
- Chickpea coffee was first discovered in 1793 and adopted in areas of Germany in WWI.
- Chickpeas were fed to Roman stallions to increase their virility.
- The Ancient Romans believed that chickpeas were a gift from the Goddess Venus to help with fertility.
- In traditional Jewish birth celebrations like Shalom Zakhar, chickpeas are consumed as they represent the circle of life.
Recipe for creamy vegan chickpea pasta
Ingredients (serves 3)
- elbow macaroni ( or shells) – 1 cup
- water to cook the pasta
- dry chickpeas – 1/2 cup (3/4 cup if you are using canned)
- spinach – chopped, 1/2 cup loosely packed
- carrot – 1, medium, grated
- cashews – 1/4 cup
- almond milk – 1/2 cup
- Italian seasoning – 1 teaspoon
- garlic – 3 cloves, minced
- sun dried tomatoes – about 4 pieces, chopped
- olive oil – 1 tablespoon
- salt and pepper
- Boil a large pot of water, add the pasta and cook as per the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta, mix in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and keep aside.
- If you are using dry chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil with one and a half cups of water in a pressure cooker. Once high pressure is reached, simmer and cook for another 15 minutes.
- After the pressure releases completely, open and drain the chickpeas.
- Warm the milk and soak cashews in it for 15 minutes.
- Blend the cashews into a smooth paste, first with a little milk, then mix in the rest of the milk.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet, add garlic and saute on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add spinach and saute until it wilts.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning and cashew-milk mixture to the spinach, bring it to boil and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until you get a sauce consistency.
- Mix in the pasta, chickpeas, grated carrot, salt and pepper.
- Stir for a couple of minutes and turn off the heat.
- Serve and enjoy with your choice of roasted vegetables.
- Non-vegans can use regular milk instead of almond milk and add some feta cheese.
- If you like a bit of spicy heat in your pasta like me, you can add a minced chili pepper along with the garlic.
- Remember to add grated carrots only at the end of cooking to retain the crunch.