This Mediterranean Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Crispy Chickpeas is a fantastic vegetarian meal! Although the backstory for this dish is nothing exciting – the usual weeknight struggle of having nothing planned for supper and needing to get creative with what was on hand. The only vegetables in the fridge were broccoli and a yellow bell pepper, and we only had canned beans for the source of protein. Using a bunch of pickled and marinated jarred staples, I whipped up this meal and found a winner!
The chickpeas get pan fried with pine nuts until browned and crisp. The key to getting the chickpeas crispy is to not overcrowd the pan and make sure they are patted dry after rinsing, to remove as much water as possible. Since my favourite way to eat broccoli is by roasting it, that’s what we did. It imparts such a lovely texture to the dish, with the florets getting crispy and caramelized. The rest is just basic Mediterranean staples: marinated sun dried tomatoes, pickled hot peppers, Parmesan cheese, lemons, pasta and olive oil. Things we think you should always have on hand!
When the Parmesan gets mixed with saved pasta water and olive oil, it creates a luscious glossy sauce that coats the pasta beautifully. It is incredibly easy to make, though there are a few dishes dirtied in the process and is best served right way. We hope you won’t let this deter you and enjoy it as much as we did. Have a good weekend everyone!
Mediterranean Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Crispy Chickpeas
A harmonious blend of texture and classic mediterranean flavours, making for a vegetarian pasta dish that is sure to impress.
Servings 4 Servings
- 1 15oz canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry with a dish towel
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional for serving
- 2 1/2 cups dried Fiorelli pasta (or other short pasta)
- 3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes marinated in oil, chopped
- 1 1/5 tbsp pickled hot cherry peppers, chopped
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets and the stem peeled and then chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped in large chunks
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of half, the rest sliced in wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water to boil. Arrange the broccoli on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Toss to coat, season liberally with salt and pepper, then roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add the peppers, toss together with broccoli and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes. Once the water is boiling, salt it heavily, then add your pasta and cook until it not quite al dente. It will continue to cook in the pan later on. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add your chickpeas and pine nuts and toss to coat in the oil. Fry them for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the chickpeas are crisp and the pine nuts toasted. Remove from the pan to a plate for now.
Return the pan to stove top and turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining oil and tbsp of butter. Add the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, pickled peppers and fry for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Next, add the lemon juice, zest, pasta, and roasted vegetables, tossing to combine. Add 3/4 cup of your reserved pasta water to the pan, then add the Parmesan cheese. Toss the pasta continuously until the cheese melts into the water and oil to create a glossy sauce over the pasta. If it seems dry, add more pasta water and toss well again.
Serve the pasta topped with your crispy chickpeas and pine nuts, with additional lemon wedges and Parmesan cheese for topping.