I’ve found a wonderful break from the heartiness of holiday merry-making to be a convenient and mailable combination of garbanzo beans and rice penne pasta. Growing up in the more traditional spaghetti bolognese household, the 6-year-old me would have slapped my wrist for coming up with such a combination. The 26-year-old feeding herself in in this season of cheer? Totally impressed with how good these two things taste together and how light yet full I feel afterwards.
Here are two ideas for putting together chick peas and rice pasta. Gluten-, dairy-, nut-, soy-free. Vegan yet robust. Recipes serve about two. Happy times in that jolly belly. Ho ho ho!
-Simple, fresh, delicious-
Ingredients: 1 cup rice penne, 1 1/2 tbs. high quality extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tbs. dried rubbed sage, 1 small (or 1/2 large) shallot cut into small dice (brunois), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans*, sprinkle of paprika
1. Cook gluten-free rice penne pasta in salted water according to packaged directions to al dente.
2. Meanwhile, slowly cook shallots and garlic in olive oil to release aromas over low heat. You don’t want them to change color, just infuse in the oil.
3. When pasta is cooked, drain, rinse, and then put in heating pan with shallots and garlic. Sprinkle in sage. Toss a few times to combine flavors, then let stay warm over low heat or to the side of the stove.
4. Heat about 1/4 cup high heat neutral oil in a pot over medium heat. Make sure your cooked garbanzo beans are drained, and drop in when oil is hot to fry. When they have started to brown in color, remove from oil and rest on a paper towel for 30 seconds to remove excess oil.
5. To serve, make sure pasta is still warm (if not put the pan back on heat for a few seconds) and salt to taste with a fine sea salt. Put on a plate, top with fried garbanzo beans, then sprinkle paprika over the top. Goes really really well with roasted brussel sprouts. (See photo at top!)
–Sultry, tangy, and delectable-
Ingredients: 1 cup gluten-free rice penne pasta, 3/4 cups cooked garbanzo beans*, 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, 1 knob fresh ginger (1″ cubed) grated, 1/4 yellow onion diced, 2 cloves garlic diced, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs. organic ketchup (or 1 small tomato cubed), salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook penne according to packaged directions.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in 1 tbs. high heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and sauté until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Deglaze with ketchup. Let cook 30 seconds. Add vinegar. Let cook another 30 seconds to cook out acidity. Add stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook over medium high heat until reduced down just a thin layer on the bottom.
3. Add garbanzo beans that have been drained and about 1/2 cup water or stock to make it a liquid sauce again. Cook to reduce and infuse beans with sauce flavors. Reduce to about half, add in cooked pasta. Toss over low heat to combine flavors. If you want it more soup-like, add more stock or water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf. To serve, dish into wide soup bowls. Sprinkle some chopped herbs on top to be fancy.
*To cook your own garbanzo beans instead of buying canned, soak dried beans in water at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. Cook in 3 times the amount of water NOT salted with a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme (optional) for about 2 hours in a gentle simmer, covered. Add a heavy pinch of salt after 2 hours of cooking (they will not cook as fast if you add salt beforehand! Trust this one.) Keep cooking over low heat until they feel like canned beans, i.e. you can squish them between your fingers and they have an even cooking throughout. Make sure beans always have liquid covering them, so add more water if it evaporates.