Recipe: Pasta with Chickpeas

I've always been a fan of the chickpea. Its nutty flavor is delicious and filling and its calorie count is negligible.

This recipe from the Moosewood Collective makes good use of the legume as a hearty, healthy pasta sauce. It's a great recipe for any vegetarians at your table since it's heavy on the veggies and the fiber.

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

3 fresh rosemary sprigs, 2 inches each

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 cups chopped fresh or 3 cups canned tomatoes (28-ounce can, undrained)

3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (2 15-ounce cans)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 pound short chunky pasta

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine the onions, garlic, rosemary and oil in a well-seasoned skillet or nonstick saucepan and saute on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden.

Add the tomatoes and half of the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprigs and discard.

In a blender, puree the tomato-chickpea mixture until smooth. Return to skill, stir in remaining chickpeas, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large covered pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add the pasta, stir, cover the pot, and return to a boil. Stir the paste again and cook, uncovered, until al dente.

Drain the pasta. In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with the chickpea sauce and serve immediately. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

-- Emily Simnitt