I am such a sucker for pasta. I could easily eat pasta every single day of the week and I’m not even kidding. As a child, I really loved spaghetti. Just spaghetti. I tried to avoid the bolognese as much as I could (and my parents would allow). I just wanted the pasta. And no ketchup. Gosh, if someone added ketchup on top of my pasta I would scream like crazy and refuse to eat it. I just hated that combination. I’m a bit different today (phew!) and I looove to serve my spaghetti with a spicy lentil bolognese, a huge dollop of pesto or just all the vegetables I can find in our kitchen.
Even though I could eat pasta every day of the week, I’ve realized that it wouldn’t be super healthy. But it still is my favorite thing to eat when I’m super hungry. Like, when you come home after a crazy busy day when you only managed to squeeze in a juice on the go because you were running between meetings like a crazy person. No matter how much I try to avoid such lunch habits, it happens.
I’m a nutritionist and I’m supposed to be super healthy all the time, but I’m only human. And I don’t like to pretend that I’m some sort of superhero because I’m not. But I try to make the best of it when I find myself in situations like that. I'll buy a huge vegetable juice (I love one at Joe & the juice with avocado, spinach, apples, kale, and lemon) and I stock up on raw energy bars to have on the go. However, after busy days like that, I’m always super hungry in the evenings. And that’s when pasta comes knocking on my door, with puppy eyes, telling me that it’s there for me. You know?
So, having a few super simple pasta recipes up your sleeve is such a life hack. And if you have hungry kids to feed I guess it’s even more of a life hack. The key, I believe, is to keep it healthy and full of greens in order to nourish your hungry body and fill it with all the nutrients it needs. So, pesto is a great way to add healthy fats, some protein, and some greens. And serving your pasta with lots of vegetables on the side makes it even better. Plus, you can change the vegetables depending on the season. Win-win-win. Another great thing is that over the last couple of years, a billion versions of bean pasta have entered the market so today, pasta can actually be super healthy. Since I’m allergic to gluten, it’s either corn pasta or bean pasta for me and I always go with the bean pasta. It’s rich in protein and it doesn’t get soggy like the corn pasta often does.
This recipe was inspired by Green Kitchen Stories recipe for pesto pasta. It just looked too good to not make my own version of it.
Pesto pasta with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas
2 cans of organic pre-cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
4 servings of bean pasta
80 g pine nuts
2 tbsp parmesan
2 handfuls fresh basil (or 1 plant), coarsely chopped
3/4 dl / 75 ml organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Break the cauliflower into florets. Toss the cauliflower florets and the chickpeas with olive oil and spread out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder and roast for about 30 minutes, or until golden.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
Then start with the pesto. Start by mixing the pine nuts in a food processor/blender. Mix until you have a coarse nut flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a smooth and creamy pesto. Now try the pesto, you might want to add more lemon juice or olive oil depending on what you like.
Combine the pasta with as much pesto as you like. I usually add like 3/4 of the pesto and then serve the rest on the side, but that’s entirely up to you. Serve with the roasted vegetables, some baby spinach, avocado and sundried tomatoes. Enjoy!