Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brown Rice Spaghetti with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Arugula Pesto

We've been getting lots of fresh spinach in our CSA box lately - not baby spinach leaves but larger leaves (Bloomsdale spinach) which I thought would be great in a pasta dish. I decided to put it together with some arugula pesto, canned chickpeas, and brown rice spaghetti (whole wheat or regular spaghetti would also work) and the combination ended up being so good that I felt compelled to share it. You can use any leftover arugula pesto as a sandwich topping, bruschetta spread, or  to add more flavor to a vegetable soup (like a pistou). This is a great recipe for a weeknight or a casual Friday evening. I like it because its a great balance of healthy fats, greens, protein, and whole grains (while still getting your pasta fix!).

Brown Rice Spaghetti with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Arugula Pesto
Serves 2 

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

2 c. arugula, packed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts (you could also use walnuts or almonds)
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t. kosher salt
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch spinach, chopped (I prefer the big spinach leaves here chopped up, but you can also use baby spinach)
6 oz. brown rice spaghetti
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Heat a pot of water to a boil for the pasta and add a large pinch of salt. Meanwhile, prepare the arugula pesto by placing the arugula, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor. Start to run the processor, then gradually add in the olive oil (approximately 1/3 c. or until the mixture starts to loosen). Remove the mixture from the processor and stir in the cheese, salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Add the pasta to the water and prepare the spinach and rinse the chickpeas while it's cooking. In the last minute of cooking time, add the spinach to the pasta pot, cook for a minute, then reserve about 1/2 c. of the pasta water and drain the pasta and spinach. Return to the pot, add the chickpeas and some of the pesto and a little bit of the reserved pasta water and stir. Add more of the pesto and pasta water until it reaches the amount of sauce that you'd like. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I found that it needed a bit more salt at the end).

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious Kate! I can't wait to try. Shared this on Facebook and Pinterest and got many "Likes".