I’ve never been a huge pasta fan. Even before my health forced me to cut things like pasta out of my diet completely, I’d usually pass it over. It felt heavy, and I rarely walked away from an huge plate of spaghetti feeling energized and without regret.
These days, I love experimenting with pasta substitutes, usually by way of my favorite kitchen gadget, the spiralizer . Turning veggies into noodles is something I’ve gotten pretty good at, but I’m pulling that gadget out a little bit less now that I’ve discovered a new pasta alternative.
There are people in this world who have figured out a way to transform everyday legumes into totally convincing pasta. Can we just take a minute and applaud that feat?
I mean look at those shells. They came into this world as a bunch of wholesome chickpeas, unaware of the greatness they were destined for. It’s a beautiful thing, really.
I’ve been adding a few varieties of bean based pastas into my regular dinner rotation, so I was totally excited to try out Banza– a new one on the market and the first of its kind made of chickpeas. I’ve kind of been on a hummus kick lately, and that obsession has been conveniently replaced by these little shells. When I can find shortcuts that don’t detract from the integrity of my food, I’m all for it.
And when I can swap out K’s pasta with this healthy alternative and not have him notice, you know that it is legit.
Since we didn’t get to make it to Greece in September like we had planned, I’ve been trying to include a generous helping of flavors from the homeland to appease my homesick husband. And maybe myself a little, too.
But these flavors have a way of transporting you right back to the taverna, and if you can taste home, it makes missing it a little bit easier.
Food is pretty high up on the list of things both of us miss about Greece, but for K who lived his entire life in the Mediterranean, being reunited with true Greek cuisine can’t come soon enough. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried about him when we finally get the chance to visit. There are only so many souvlakis that one man can physically consume, but I’m pretty sure that limit will be tested.
So until we can make it back to the authentic flavors we both miss so dearly, I’ll be adding them in wherever I can. Pairing them up with our new favorite pasta feels like a good place to start.
The pasta for this post was provided by Banza. If you’d like to try some for yourself, make sure to use the coupon code RY2015 to receive 25% off your order.
- one 8 oz box Banza chickpea shells
- 2 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 10 sundried tomatoes in oil
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 4 cups baby spinach
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- olive oil
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- Bring pot of salted water to a boil.
- While water comes to a boil, finely dice shallots, peel and crush garlic, and cut sundried tomatoes into smaller pieces. Remove pits from olives.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While pasta cooks, heat a pan over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add shallots and pinch of salt, sautéing for about two minutes before adding in crushed garlic. Cook for an additional minute before adding lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, olives, nutmeg, black pepper, and spinach leaves.
- Continue to cook just until spinach leaves are slightly wilted and remove from heat.
- Drain pasta and add to a serving bowl. Add shallot and spinach mixture to bowl along with crumbled feta and toss to combine. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Tastes like home!
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.