Since making this pesto recently, I was eager to put it to use (beyond continuous tastes off of a fork or spoon dipped in… what?). In keeping on the kale and chickpea kick I’ve been on recently, here’s what I wound up with:
Quinoa Pesto Pasta with Kale, Chickpeas, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
You can make this with whatever your favorite pasta is; I used quinoa this time – so as is this recipe is both vegan and gluten-free. I tend to prefer whole wheat or regular pasta, or quinoa – rice-based just isn’t my favorite. But for something a little “different”, quinoa pasta is a delicious alternative. Not all regular grocery stores carry it, but Whole Foods, New Frontiers, and other similar markets usually do.
You can also break this recipe down into different components that work well on their own, as well as a combined whole.
Warm, garlicky vegetables and chickpeas? I could eat this right out of the pan:
And actually, we did just that… a few times…:
And then there was the quinoa pasta, mixed only with pesto:
But when this is the finished product, it’s worth waiting for everything to be combined!:
Recipe: Quinoa Pesto Pasta with Kale, Chickpeas, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
What You Need
- Prepared pesto (1/2 – 1 cup, to your preference)
- 8-10 oz quinoa pasta, cooked
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 cup diced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2-3 cups torn red kale
- 1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil, separated
- to taste: salt, ground pepper and dried chili flakes
What You Do:
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add garlic; saute for a few minutes until it begins to soften
- Add mushrooms and tomatoes; saute uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Cover loosely and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until mushrooms are almost just cooked through and some tomatoes are splitting or peeling
- Add a pinch of salt, ground pepper (tons, if you’re like me!) and a few shakes of chili flakes
- Add additional tablespoon of olive oil and kale, and continue to saute. Once kale begins to look coated or wet, turn heat down to medium-low.
- Add chickpeas to vegetable mix; stir occasionally
- In a medium/large saucepan (might as well use the one you used to cook the quinoa!), warm the pesto for a minute or two over low heat. If your pesto was frozen, this will obviously take a little bit longer. Stir to warm and soften through.
- Add quinoa pasta to pesto and stir to combine.
- Add vegetable mix, toss all to combine, serve & devour!