With a creamy sauce and juicy fresh tomatoes, this Creamy Tomato Chickpea Pasta with Spinach is a filling yet light meatless meal for an easy weeknight dinner.
Have you tried chickpea pasta? I have to confess that I was a little skeptical at first because I love tradition pasta, and why mess with a good thing? But I was intrigued by the fact that chickpea pasta has more protein and fiber than traditional pasta, making it an ideal option for meatless pasta dishes.
The first time I cooked chickpea pasta was a fail. First of all, I overcooked it, which makes for a mushy noodle. I recommend setting a timer for 2 minutes less than the cooking time listed on the box and tasting a noodle. I usually go ahead and drain it at this point. Secondly, I left the pasta in the colander for too long. Again, it can continue to cook and get mushy and stuck together. Try to time things so that the pasta is done at about the same time as the sauce, or return the drained pasta to the pot, and toss with a bit of olive oil while you wait for the sauce to finish. I’ve also noticed that the chickpea pasta tends to stick to the bottom of the pot if you don’t stir it, so be sure to stir the pasta every minute or so during the first half of the cooking time.
Using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream results in a sauce with less saturated fat and more protein, calcium and Vitamin D. The sautéed cherry tomatoes add a burst of flavor with a balance of acidity and natural sweetness. Best of all, this dish comes together in less than 20 minutes for a quick dinner any night of the week.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until tomatoes are tender and begin to burst.
Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add wine, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Stir in evaporated milk. Mash tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes longer or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in baby spinach. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.
Hungry for more pasta? Try my Weeknight Shrimp Spaghetti with Spinach!